Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has taken another step towards the exit door at Stamford Bridge after supporters reacted angrily to his performance in the Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain. The 25-year-old was replaced through injury as the Blues chased three goals to stage an unlikely comeback, asking to be substituted with 13 minutes remaining.
Hazard had earlier risked the wrath of the home support by swapping shirts at half-time with PSG's Angel di Maria. Though it is not clear how many fans saw the episode and whether their reaction to Hazard in the second half was influenced by it, the West Londoners' following are unlikely to be impressed by the act while the game was on a knife-edge.
Responding to questions regarding the incident, interim Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink said, according to ESPN: "I'm aware. It should not be done. But in some countries its usual that you do it [at half-time] and not after the game. Maybe they're both used to doing that. Don't overvalue this issue."
The Belgium international will not have helped matters with a performance that failed to inspire a Chelsea side who were dumped out of the competition unceremoniously as a result of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal after the break. Hazard produced a showing in keeping with a campaign during which he has netted just two goals in all competitions.
The catalogue of events follow Hazard's constant flirtation with a move away from Chelsea, which has been made much more likely after the reaction from the home faithful. He admitted prior to the first leg that a move to the French capital would be "difficult" to reject and revealed his aim to win the Champions League.
"[It is] difficult to say no to PSG, or to any of the teams capable of winning the Champions League," he stated to Le Parisien. "PSG are now in that category. And for me, winning the Champions League is my main aim."
The Sun understands that Chelsea value Hazard at £80m ($102m) and are unwilling to accept an offer that fails to match their expectations. Real Madrid and PSG are among the contenders for his signature, and a move that at one stage looked inconceivable after Hazard was named the three-time player of the year last season now appears on the horizon.