Eden Hazard is believed to have reported for Real Madrid's pre-season camp around 7kg overweight, leaving president Florentino Perez questioning whether the former Chelsea star is the man to reverse the club's fortunes.
Real's pursuit of the Belgian seemed to go on for an eternity, but he finally sealed a move away from Chelsea in early May. However, after he returned from his holiday, many fans pointed to recent images of the Belgian and questioned whether he was out of shape.
According to Sport, those concerns were justified, as Hazard arrived at the Montreal pre-season training camp weighing around 7kg more than they were expecting. As a result, there has been even more friction between Perez and manager Zinedine Zidane, with the president questioning Hazard's work ethic.
After becoming the club's record signing, Hazard was billed as the man to save Real from their abysmal previous campaign, with Zidane demanding that he be signed at all costs.
Perez was eager to appease Zidane, so paid a huge €140m for the winger, even though his Chelsea contract had just 12 months left to run.
A club source is said to have confirmed that Perez has lost confidence in Hazard already, fearing that he may not have the mentality or attitude to work hard in Madrid. The president has even questioned Zidane for insisting he be bought this summer.
The recent 7-3 humiliation at the hands of rivals Atletico Madrid, coupled with Perez's decision to cancel Gareth Bale's move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning, has created somewhat of a frosty atmosphere at the club, and now his feelings towards Hazard have only made things worse.
It is worth noting that while Hazard's weight issues have been touted by several publishers, the claims of Perez's subsequent doubts about the player come exclusively from Sport - which is, of course, a pro-Barcelona, Catalan-based daily.
Fuentes del Madrid: Hazard llegó con 7 kilos de sobrepeso a la concentración de Montreal. No ha perdido ni la mitad.— Diego Torres Romano (@diegotorresro) July 29, 2019
Los Blancos still have to face both Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig this summer, and Perez will be keen to see a serious improvement from the side as they near the start of the new season.
With Marco Asensio sidelined through injury, the onus will be on Hazard to step up even more and prove his worth to Perez and the Madrid fans.