Eden Hazard could miss the start of next season after breaking his ankle while on international duty with Belgium.
The Chelsea star picked up the injury in the last few minutes of a training session on Sunday, and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks. The 2017-18 Premier League season starts on August 12.
Initial reports from Belgium’s camp revealed Hazard would miss matches against the Czech Republic and Estonia, but scans later showed the injury to be more serious.
The team’s official Twitter account revealed the bad news on Sunday night, writing:
‘Medical imaging showed that Eden Hazard has a fracture in his right ankle.’
Hazard has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer, following a season in which he netted 17 goals for the league champions, but the injury may impact any possibility of a deal.
The 26-year-old admitted this week that he would be open to a ‘dream’ offer from Real Madrid this summer, with talks on a new Chelsea contract still some way off.
The European champions are long-term admirers of Hazard and, in March, Sportsmail revealed Real’s plans to make Hazard their next Galactico.
Asked about Real’s interest earlier in the week, Hazard mused:
‘We all have our dreams.’
When quizzed on what he would do if a concrete proposal were to come from Zinedine Zidane’s team, he said:
‘Of course, I would listen.
‘Honestly, I do not know what offers will arrive. I only know that I have three years under contract at Chelsea.
‘Last year, we had a great season together with Antonio. We want to continue like that, in the Champions League too. I feel good at Chelsea, but you never know what will happen.
‘I have not met with the management (for contract talks). First, I have to play two matches in Belgium. They are the most important thing now. Then follows a month of holiday. And frankly, I would want to think about football as little as possible.’
Clearly, Hazard’s plans may now have changed given his injury. He will no longer play a part in the two Belgium matches and may have to undergo treatment before heading on his summer break.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have no interest in letting Hazard go at any price although it remains to be seen if that resolve would be tested by a world-record bid of over £89.3 million and a desire from the player to join the European Champions.