Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink claims Chelsea will struggle to keep hold of Eden Hazard if the rumours of a move to Real Madrid have any foundation.
The Belgian forward is widely tipped to swap England for Spain this summer, with his last match for the Blues potentially coming on Wednesday's Europa League final clash with Arsenal.
Hasselbaink, who scored 88 goals for Chelsea over a four-year spell, stated that the deal is no longer within his former club's control, and that Hazard will be the one who decides whether he remains at Stamford Bridge or not. The Dutchman also suggested that the club will need to reinforce heavily to replace the 28-year-old, with none of the current crop at his level.
“If Chelsea can keep Hazard, it would help them big time but it’s going to be difficult to keep him. Real Madrid are a dream club and he loves Zinedine Zidane so it will be tough," he told William Hill.
"I think the situation is out of Chelsea’s hands. It’s a big move for him and Real Madrid. If you look to replace him, it’s the wrong thing to do. Nobody is going to be ready to come in and fill his boots. It’s not fair for Calum Hudson-Odoi or Christian Pulisic to step in, it will be too much on their shoulders. Chelsea need to strengthen."
Hazard may have one final opportunity to wave goodbye to the club he joined in 2012, as they look to secure the Europa League title in Baku when Maurizio Sarri's side take on Arsenal - a clash that Hasselbaink is unable to select a winner from.
“The Europa League final is a 50/50 game," he added. "What Arsenal have done really well against Chelsea is they’ve pressed them well at the back. If they can control the press, they have a terrific chance of winning. Also, they have a tough task to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette quiet."