Roman Abramovich has had success when bringing former players back to Chelsea.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could repeat a transfer trick used with Didier Drogba and Nemanja Matic by luring a former star back to the club. Both players had successful second spells with the Blues.
Drogba had seemingly ended an incredibly successful career at Chelsea when he scored the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
The former Ivory Coast striker headed home the equaliser in normal time before beating Manuel Neuer from 12 yards in a tense shootout.
He spent a season with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua before playing two seasons with Galatasaray. Drogba then completed an incredible return to Stamford Bridge and scored a couple of important goals in Chelsea’s 2014-15 Premier League-winning campaign.
Drogba’s former team-mate Matic made a similar return to Chelsea in the January prior to the striker’s summer 2014 arrival. The midfielder had made just three appearances for the Blues in 2009-10 before spending three years with Benfica.
Chelsea re-signed Matic for £21million and he went on to become one of the best defensive midfielders in world football. The west Londoners won two league titles with the Serbian at the base of their midfield, often alongside Cesc Fabregas.
And Abramovich can complete a similar deal to bring Chelsea hero Eden Hazard back to the club.
Spanish outlet El Nacional reports that ‘informal’ discussions have taken place over a return for Hazard.
Abramovich is understood to believe that the 30-year-old can rekindle his status as one of the world’s best players at Chelsea, having seen his form nosedive at Real Madrid.
Hazard has scored just five goals in 51 appearances for the LaLiga side since his £100m transfer from Chelsea in 2019.
The Belgium international would return to find himself competing with the likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech for one of the two spots behind striker Romelu Lukaku.
But he might have already been given a boost ahead of a potential return, with boss Thomas Tuchel speaking highly of Hazard prior to Chelsea’s Champions League meeting with Real last term.
The Blues defeated Los Blancos 3-1 on aggregate to advance to the final of the competition.
Havertz’s goal ensured a 1-0 win in an all-Premier League showdown with Manchester City.
“He is a top quality player and a key player for many years at this club and this league, the hardest in the world,” Tuchel said last season.
“So consistent. I have the biggest respect for him. He is a big player, we have many people here who know him well.
“He was a key player for this club [but] now he plays for Real Madrid.”
And perhaps just as Drogba and Matic had successful second spells at Chelsea, so too can Hazard should he return.