EDEN HAZARD’S future at Chelsea looks less secure than ever after his relationship with the club’s supporters took another sour turn.
The Belgian was roundly booed by Blues fans after being substituted during his side’s Champions League second leg defeat at home to Paris St Germain.
Hazard – who had indicated he was injured and wanted to be replaced – had earlier earned the wrath of the Chelsea faithful by swapping shirts with PSG star Angel Di Maria at half-time.
Blues manager Guus Hiddink played down the incident but added that the fans were well within their rights to express their displeasure.
Asked about the fan reaction when Hazard came off, interim boss Hiddink said:
“They have the right to boo whatever they think.
“One can always express what they are feeling. But he was having a bit of a problem with his injury on his hip.
“I haven’t seen it (shirt swapping), but I’m aware.
I’m not saying I’m unaware.
That’d be too easy, just to say I didn’t see it.
Yeah, it should not be done, but in some countries it’s usual you do it, and not after the game.
“It’s not a big issue for me or for them. I don’t think it’s a big issue. I don’t think it was done with any bad intentions.”
It’s not the first time Hazard has been targeted by Chelsea fans – he was also booed earlier in the campaign for an apparent lack of effort when Jose Mourinho was sacked.
And with his recent “expression of interest” in joining PSG or Real Madrid, it’s hard to see how the playmaker can remain at Stamford Bridge next season.
Hazard has been in the English game long enough to know what the supporters’ reaction to his exchanging shirts would have been.
It was a foolish act at the best of times, but particularly so given his already fragile relationship with the club’s fans.
Chelsea supporters, is it time to cash in and sell Hazard?
Chelsea travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton this weekend in the FA Cup.
Everton have been poor at home all season but lift for the “big clubs” so this won’t be easy for Chelsea.