LONDON — Eden Hazard won a trio of individual prizes at Chelsea’s end-of-season awards as the Belgian looks likely to join Real Madrid in the summer.
In addition to winning Goal of the Season for his sublime solo run and finish against Liverpool at Anfield in September, Hazard was also named the Players’ Player of the Year and the Yokohama Player of the Year, awarded by Chelsea’s primary shirt sponsor.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was voted Young Player of the Year despite seeing his breakthrough season cut short by a ruptured Achilles earlier this month, while Conor Gallagher was named Academy Player of the Year.
Chelsea Women’s Player of the Year award went to striker Erin Cuthbert after registering 12 goals and six assists across 25 matches in the Women’s Super League and UEFA Women’s Champions League, while Sophie Ingle was voted Players’ Player of the Year by her teammates.
However, the accolades come amid an air of great uncertainty over where Hazard will play next season and manager Maurizio Sarri saying he won’t keep the Belgian against his will if he wants to move to Real Madrid in the summer.
Sources told ESPN FC this week that Hazard wants his desired move to the Spanish capital finalised as soon as possible this summer, and is already in regular contact with Zinedine Zidane in anticipation of the deal.
Chelsea are determined not to sell Hazard — who is set to enter the final year of his contract — for less than his market value, but Sarri only wants his superstar at Stamford Bridge next season if he is happy to stay.
“If Hazard is thinking that the history here is finished, then in his mind it is finished,” Sarri said after Chelsea edged out Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties to book a place in the Europa League final. “I can try to speak to him but it is not easy. It’s not easy because of course I want Hazard, but I want Hazard with a very high level of motivation.”
Asked if Hazard’s contract situation leaves Chelsea with no choice but to sell Hazard to Madrid this summer, Sarri replied: “I am not in charge of the renewal of the contract so I am not able to answer.
“I can only speak to the player but like a father, not like a manager. It’s a discussion between a father and a son.”
Hazard is hoping to sign off his Chelsea career by leading the club to Europa League glory against Arsenal in Baku, but first Sarri must take his players to the United States next week for a friendly against New England Revolution to raise money and awareness for the fight against antisemitism.
Sarri admitted that he fears the timing of the trip could disrupt Chelsea’s preparations for their last opportunity to claim a trophy this season.
“We go there for a good reason I think, so as a man I am very happy to go there,” Chelsea’s head coach said. “As a coach, of course, I am a little bit worried because I know very well that the team now needs rest. So it is not the best way to prepare the final, I think.
“I want to speak to the physical staff, to the doctor and then we need to prepare the [physical] program. I think that they need three or four days completely in rest.
“I am not worried about the physical side, I think it is more difficult to recover mentally. Because in a match like this one you spend, usually, a lot of energy and then of course you have to go down and then it is not easy to go up again.”