Eden Hazard's rumoured new contract shows that flirting with other clubs works
Most fans are quick on the uptake in spotting when a player is talking about the possibility of moving clubs in order to leverage himself a better contract at his current club. It is a well-worn tactic.
Yet, it is undeniably effective. Those who do choose to do it will probably end up with a better deal while a club will feel no pressure to offer a wage increase for players who do not use such a tactic.
Take, for example, two Chelsea players, Eden Hazard and Cesar Azpilicueta. Hazard is adopting this classic tactic and it is working. He constantly mentions Real Madrid in his interviews to the media. He says he would like top join the Spanish club but would also be happy to stay at Chelsea. The Blues, therefore, will fell compelled to offer extraordinary amounts of money to persuade him to stay.
By contrast, Azpilicueta never speaks about other clubs. Because he puts no pressure on Chelsea to make efforts to keep him, he finds himself close to being out of contract. The captain’s deal expires in 2020.
If Azpilicueta were not so nice and started talking about a desire to move back to Spain, he would probably receive an offer of improved terms from Chelsea fairly quickly.
Hazard is only playing a game that is proven to have results. Either this tactic gets him his move or it nets him a huge pay increase. Either way, he wins while Azpilicueta remains silent and his contract runs down.