The mill is alive with the sound of rumors.
Summer transfer buzz is already quite loud as Premier League clubs bid to give returning managers more tools and new managers their best start.
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But today’s post is less about young imports and almost exclusively about players in that dicey territory that is the end or after the end of their primes.
Hazard to Arsenal
Eden Hazard could be leaving Real Madrid at a discount as La Liga’s leaders need to shed salary in order to land a player (or two) like Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, or Robert Lewandowski.
And could a London return be on the cards?
Multiple reports say that Arsenal is considering a purchase of Hazard. He’s done almost nothing since leaving Chelsea but who can forget peak Hazard functioning in the Premier League.
Hazard, 31, is under contract through the end of the 2023-24 season and hasn’t played more than 1,000 minutes since 2019-20, his first season with Madrid.
He’s posted six goals and 10 assists in his last 65 appearances, which pales in comparison to the 21 goals and 17 assists he dialed up in his last season at Chelsea.
It’s a huge risk, though Hazard’s been a bit better for Belgium. Advocates will point to how Philippe Coutinho’s looked since returning from exile, but the Villa man produced plenty after leaving Liverpool.
Ozil to Inter Miami
Imagine, if you could, a time machine that allows you to roll up to essentially any peak footballer’s prime and have a conversation about their future.
Now imagine you get to go to Mesut Ozil during his best days at Real Madrid or Arsenal and inform him that he’s a few years away from being linked to Hull City and Inter Miami, and that the former is nowhere near the Premier League.
He’d slap you. Honestly. Get your lawyer lined up, because Mesut Ozil is not about to believe that his best options in the Year 2022 are a mid-table Championship side and one of the worst teams in Major League Soccer.
But Metro says that the Tigers and fighting’ Beckhams are interested in bringing the Fenerbahce (back) to England and to the U.S.
Fener has been asked whether it could release Ozil due to the player’s reaction to being subbed out of a recent game and the club president’s quote isn’t exactly claiming the suggestion is absurd.
Ozil, 33, is 33. He has nine goals and two assists in 26 matches this season. He could absolutely produce in MLS if he cares but why would anyone bet that he will?
Enter Phil Neville, we guess.
Salah contract latest
Mohamed Salah has trophies to play for, so he’d rather not discuss his lack of a new contract at Liverpool.
And that’s respectable, especially since it seems less and less likely that he’s going to stay if he’s deadset on getting the money he’d like.
“Well not much but honestly, but what I can say is there many things people don’t know about it. I can’t be selfish and talk about my situation. We are in the most important period for the team so I have to just talk about the team, focus on what is coming with the team and that is the most important thing. That is all I can say. Hopefully we are going to be more optimistic and see what is going to happen.”
Honestly, this will sound insane but look at the two rumors above and realize Hazard was very much on Salah’s level and around the same age. If Liverpool is talking era-defining money for a 29-year-old who gets fouled as much as Salah for club and country, the answer should probably be no. If it’s simply superstar money within a club’s means, then sure.
Liverpool’s probably smart to invest in replacements like Luis Diaz (already done) and Fabio Carvalho (potentially close). It’ll sting to Liverpool fans but remember that the smart big clubs make these calls all the time.
But Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Coutinho, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang…. the examples go on forever.Follow @NicholasMendola