Chelsea land intriguing FFP boost from unlikely source ahead of summer transfer window

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Chelsea are to receive a bonus from a player that retired seven months ago

Chelsea have been handed a surprise boost ahead of the upcoming transfer window - they are set to receive a £5 million bonus thanks to Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid, despite the fact the ex-Blues star retired from football seven months ago.

Hazard departed Stamford Bridge in 2019 for the Bernabeu in a deal worth £130 million, with more than £40m in add-ons depending on performance. One of those add-ons has now been triggered following Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final win over Bayern Munich.

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Carlo Ancelotti’s side and Hazard reached an agreement last summer that saw him terminate his contract in order to retire in October. However, some of the terms from his Chelsea transfer are still valid and while £5 million is far from the large pay days that come from transfer fees, the windfall will be a most welcome surprise as the Blues seek to comply with the Premier League’s profit-and-sustainability rules.

The winger first joined Stamford Bridge in 2012 in a £32m deal from Lille. He went on to win two Premier League titles and two Europa Leagues during his seven year stint at the Bridge, scoring 85 goals in nearly 250 Premier League fixtures. The Belgian international then headed to Real Madrid in 2019 in a deal that has long been considered one of the best business moves in the transfer market as Chelsea received £88m up front for the then 28-year-old.

Hazard, who scored 33 international goals in 126 appearances for his country, struggled for fitness and regular game time during his spell in the Spanish capital. He played 54 La Liga matches during his four seasons and while he was part of the 2022 Champions League side that beat Liverpool in the final, he was an unused substitute.

After a poor start to the season, Chelsea are beginning to find their rhythm under Mauricio Pochettino and four wins in a row see them back up to sixth place, just one game away from a place in next season’s Europa Conference League at a minimum.

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The Blues will, however, have a busy summer transfer window as they seek to strengthen the squad - they look likely to bring in a forward, left-back and a central defender. With FFP regulations looming, the Blues will be monitoring their financial spending carefully and an additional £5m bonus from a player who retired seven months ago is a much welcome addition.

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