The World Cup and Maurizio Sarri’s belated appointment have delayed Chelsea’s summer business.
But according to the Evening Standard, the Blues have finally formulated a plan to satisfy, and fend off advances for their two-star men – N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard.
They report that Chelsea wants to make World Cup winner Kante the highest-paid player in the club’s history with a £290,000 per week deal. They hope that level of ambition will convince Hazard to snub Real Madrid.
The second phase of the plan is to make Hazard a fresh offer that would see him earn £300,000 every week. But there is the risk that he would demand even more and all Kante’s new deal would serve to do is move the Belgian’s demands into ridiculous territory.
Hazard stated at the start of the summer that he would wait to see which new players Chelsea would sign before committing his future.
So it is hard to see how tying down a player the club already has is going to convince him that Sarri is about to oversee a revolution at Stamford Bridge.
The reported possible departure of Hazard’s international team-mate Thibaut Courtois is also likely to play a major part in the winger’s thinking; to the extent that he may well demand even more than £300k per week to remain out of the Champions League and in west London.
Chelsea’s plan to keep their two biggest stars is laced with risk. It is hard to see how it will really influence Hazard’s thinking, aside from encouraging the Belgian to demand astronomical wages if he does decide to commit his future.