Chelsea legend Frank Lampard admits his old club will be in trouble if the “irreplaceable” Eden Hazard really does leave for Real Madrid this summer.
French news outlet L’Equipe claimed on Monday that Hazard is allegedly closing in on completing a €112m switch to Real, with an announcement expected after Chelsea’s Europa League final against Arsenal on May 29.
The Belgian winger has been linked with a move to Real since last year and the rumours have only grown stronger since the return of his idol Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu in March.
And now Lampard, who played alongside Hazard for the final two of his 13 years at Stamford Bridge, admits the talented star will be a great loss for Chelsea.
“He’s in the top few players in the world. I think we all know that,” he told talkSPORT.
“We’ve seen him in the Premier League and he has been a joy to have. He was a joy to play with.
“I knew his potential from day one when he trained at Chelsea a few years ago now.
“Of course it will be disappointing to lose him for the Premier League but particularly Chelsea.
“You don’t replace Eden Hazard, you have to find ways around it whether it be some of the younger players or the team.
“That’s if you are going to lose him, we don’t know that for sure yet but it seems it might happen.”
Despite sealing a return to Champions League football next season through a Premier League top-four finish, Lampard has urged Chelsea to remain focused.
The Blues could cap things off by winning the Europa League before resolving Hazard’s future or their impending two-window transfer ban.
Lampard added: “The Europa League final will be a huge game for them. To win a competition like that is always big.
“It’s going to be a tough game against Arsenal and then we will see with the transfer ban etc.
“It’s always news at Chelsea. It’s always happening that way when you are a big club it tends to be that way. We will see.
“The players, manager and club’s objective now is to win that final, simple as that.”