Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Real Madrid wanted James Rodriguez to join Chelsea

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Madrid reportedly wanted Antonio Conte's side to sign both Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata from them in order to stand a better chance of getting Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois.

Swap deals that read well in rumour-mills rarely come off in reality, but there was a genuine desire to somehow engineer a summer in which Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez ended up at Stamford Bridge and Hazard and Thibaut Courtois ended up at the Bernabeu.

In the end only one quarter of that four-way transfer came off. Chelsea signed Morata but did not want Rodriguez, who ended up at Bayern Munich on loan. And Madrid cooled on Courtois because Keylor Navas finished the season so well.

The interest in Hazard was dampened because Madrid were sidetracked by Kylian Mbappe's availability and decided it was him or no one.

A year on from the height of the Hazard interest it's clear that the disinterest in Chelsea's 26-year-old Belgian international was only temporary and that certainly as far as Zidane is concerned he remains a player who would be welcomed at Real Madrid.

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