Chelsea's pre-season plans have already been dealt a major blow, with talisman winger Eden Hazard returning to London for surgery on a broken ankle which he sustained while on international duty with Belgium.
Worse than first thought
Hazard returned to the height of his powers in the 2016/17 season after ghosting his way through the previous campaign, with the Belgian playing in a key part in returning the Premier League title to Stamford Bridge.
The winger's 16 goals proved crucial in him winning the Player's Player of the Year, but his plans and fitness for the beginning of next season has been thrown into some doubt with this latest setback.
The 26-year-old picked up the injury at the National Football Centre in Tubize on Sunday, and was ruled out of the upcoming friendly with Czech Republic and World Cup qualifier with Estonia.
Hazard is expected to have surgery in the English capital on Monday, with the recovery time expected to be around eight weeks which will more than likely rule him out of the Blues' pre-season games in both China and Singapore.
I would certainly consider it
Hazard has built himself up as one of the most skillful and impactful players in the world during his five years in London, but this success has only bred rumours of a possible exit with Real Madrid continuing to be the main port of call for a move.
The Champions League winners have been linked with a move for the Belgian for the last few summers, Hazard is committed to Chelsea for the next three seasons but admitted that he would consider a move to the Spanish capital if the Galácticos came knocking.
“Of course I would consider it if Madrid made an offer,” Hazard admitted to a press conference. “I am keen to win trophies."
"It would be great to win the Champions League," he stated. "Honestly I do not know what will happen."