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With Eden Hazard nearing the exit door at Real Madrid, all signs pointed to the Belgian superstar returning to Stamford Bridge next summer.
However, aided by the near-bottomless wealth of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, Newcastle United could be about to challenge the London club for his signature.
Hazard has struggled since making his high-profile move to the Spanish capital back in 2019. Linking up with Zinedine Zidane, his £100 million price tag looked as if it weighed heavily, while injuries and the side's general form slump also worked against the former PFA Player of the Year.
Since Zidane's exit from the club, the 30-year-old has largely been left out in the cold, with youngsters like Vinicius Jr and Marco Asensio superseding him in the pecking order.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Roman Abramovich was keen to try and bring the winger back to West London, to the club where he produced his finest ever form.
A move to Chelsea would appear to make a great deal of sense of the face of it, as Thomas Tuchel is also thought to be a big fan of Hazard's.
And yet, interest from the Premier League's new richest club could complicate matters, as if reports are to be believed, Newcastle United will duel it out with Chelsea to try and land the superstar.
According to ESPN senior journalist James Olley, the Magpies could launch a bid this January, if the man himself is made available by Madrid.
"Chelsea and Newcastle are among a number of clubs interested in signing Eden Hazard in January," Olley claims.
While Chelsea have an obvious advantage in the race, given his loyalty to the club and the allure of Europe, Newcastle will - in theory at least - be able to gazump any of their financial offers.
Hazard left Chelsea with Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League winners medals to his name, having scored an impressive 110 goals for the club.
He also won the PFA Player of the Year award in 2015 for his incredible contribution to Jose Mourinho's title-winning side.
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