Cesar Azpilicueta has stated that Chelsea players must ‘respect’ Eden Hazard’s choice to join Real Madrid, who have agreed a €100 million (£86m) deal with the Blues for the 28-year-old and the signing will be made official following the Europa League final.
Eden Hazard has been intent on completing a move to Santiago Bernabeu ever since his childhood idol, Zinedine Zidane, and the Belgian informed the FA Cup holders of his decision to leave several weeks ago.
The winger made history by winning every prize at Chelsea’s end-of-season awards last week, but the side must now prepare for life without their star man.
‘Obviously, Eden is a very important player for us,’ Chelsea vice-captain Cesar Azpilicueta told Sky Sports. ‘We arrived here at the same time, and obviously, we want him to stay with us – but we have to respect his decision.
‘He is a Chelsea player, and his mind is only doing well with Chelsea and on lifting the trophy in Baku – and then we will see.’
Frank Lampard have also given a tip to Maurizio Sarri and urged him to look to the club’s youngsters to fill the void left by the Belgian superstar’s departure.
Christian Pulisic will arrive from Borussia Dortmund in the summer as the Blues agreed £58 million deal for the United States international in January.
Initially, the Blues wanted the American to play alongside Hazard, but it appears that Christian Pulisic will replace the Real Madrid-bound forward.