Maurizio Sarri has suggested Chelsea's players did not have the characteristics to fully adapt to his style of play, but the new Juventus coach says he will not change despite scepticism over his philosophy.

Sarri left Chelsea to join Juventus on Sunday, securing a return to Serie A - where he previously enjoyed three successful seasons at Napoli - after just one campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea finished third and won the Europa League during Sarri's stint in charge, though the Italian never looked to have settled in English football.

And, having now replaced Massimiliano Allegri at Juve, Sarri has acknowledged it was difficult to imprint his style on Chelsea's players without adapting his methods.

However, the 60-year-old insisted that sticking by his philosophy is the only way he knows how to achieve success.

"I have always arrived in one club surrounded by scepticism," Sarri told a news conference.

"I went to Empoli from Serie C and everybody was sceptical - Napoli from Empoli - and they were all sceptical. At Chelsea from Napoli, all sceptical. 

"Players' characteristics change from club to club. Napoli was composed of functional players, playing for the team from a psychological viewpoint, they moved the ball very quickly. 

"Chelsea, on the other hand, are made of better players but with different characteristics. Chelsea had wingers who needed the one-on-one, so my style was less smooth but as threatening as before. 

"Eventually we had become very tough to be beat. To repeat the same training methods with different players would be foolish, it would mean to change the players' characteristics. It is something for amateurs. 

"Players have different styles but what remains the same is the ideology that has to be morphed on important and mature players. This makes you win."

The race is heating up for Neymar.

With Paris Saint-Germain reportedly willing to part with the world's most expensive player, two LaLiga giants are set to go head-to-head.

Will Neymar end up at former club Barcelona or bitter Spanish rivals Real Madrid?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND MADRID FIGHT FOR NEYMAR

A return to Barcelona and a blockbuster transfer to Real Madrid both appear on the cards for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Madrid are reportedly ready to pay €130million for Neymar in a deal which would also include either James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale.

But Globo Esporte says Neymar – who left Barca for PSG in a €222m transfer in 2017 – is still on track for a Camp Nou comeback.

It comes after Le Parisien claims PSG want €300m to part with the injured Brazil forward.

 

ROUND-UP

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is set to become the world's most expensive full-back as Manchester United negotiate a £55million deal with Crystal Palace, according to the Daily Record. However, talks between the two Premier League sides have dragged on and the Red Devils have identified alternatives, with Sky Sport Italia claiming Napoli's Elseid Hysaj is a target.

- According to Marca, Atletico Madrid will announce the signing of Benfica sensation Joao Felix on Thursday. The 19-year-old has already undergone a medical and signed his contract ahead of the €120m move.

Frank Lampard has notified his Derby County squad that he will replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea if the right offer arrives, the Mirror reports. Former Chelsea star Lampard is expected to move back to London following Sarri's switch to Juve.

Paris Saint-Germain outcast Adrien Rabiot is on the verge of signing for Serie A champions Juventus, according to Sportitalia. The French midfielder and free agent has reportedly penned a five-year contract worth €7m plus bonuses, and a €10m signing-on fee.

- According to the Daily Mail, Inter and Atletico Madrid are both eyeing a move for Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has agreed a deal worth £180,000 per week to join Inter, says The Sun. With Lukaku heading for the exit, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly eyeing Bournemouth's David Brooks.

Andre Gomes is on the verge of joining Everton permanently from LaLiga champions Barcelona. Gomes enjoyed a successful loan spell in 2018-19 and a £22m fee has "verbally been agreed", according to the Telegraph.

The race for Paul Pogba appears well and truly on, but Manchester United will not let the midfielder go easily.

The France international said on Sunday he would be interested in a "new challenge", casting fresh doubt over his future at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid have continually been linked with Pogba, but it seems Paris Saint-Germain, and perhaps former club Juventus, could also be interested.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA INTEREST INTENSIFIES

Real Madrid indicated they are willing to pay £90million for Pogba despite United valuing the midfielder at £150m, according to The Sun.

United are ready to do their all to keep Pogba, with the Daily Mail reporting they are set to offer him a bumper new contract worth close to £500,000 per week.

This saga appears likely to take time to play out with Ligue 1 champions PSG also expressing an interest in Pogba, according to The Independent.

ROUND-UP

- Neymar appears more and more likely to leave PSG in the close season. Globo Esporte says talks are already underway for the Brazil international to return to Barcelona, who may pay €100m and send players, with Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti mentioned.

- It seems Benfica sensation Joao Felix has decided where he will be next season. According to Record, the 19-year-old Portugal international was in Spain to sign with Atletico Madrid in a €120m move, a report Benfica denied. El Chiringuito later claimed to have spotted the attacker and agent Jorge Mendes leaving a Madrid restaurant.

- Real Madrid look like they want to see Gareth Bale make an exit before next season. ABC says the LaLiga giants have lowered their asking price for the Wales international from €100m to €85m.

- With Neymar and Antoine Griezmann potentially arriving, Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona future seems clouded. AS reports PSG have made contact with the player's camp, while he may return to the Premier League. However, Sky Sports News reports Coutinho is unwilling to join Manchester United out of respect to former club Liverpool, but The Sun says he would head to Chelsea, although the club's transfer ban is standing in the way of that move.

- Now that Juventus have appointed Maurizio Sarri, the Serie A champions could make numerous additions. Tuttosport reported Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved met with agent Mino Raiola regarding Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt – who is expected to join PSG – and Pogba.

- A dream Chelsea return for Frank Lampard could be on the cards. The Sun reports the club great and Derby County manager is set for talks with owner Roman Abramovich over the position left vacant at Stamford Bridge by Sarri's departure. The same paper also reports Chelsea have rejected £35m bids from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for Willian, with the Mirror saying Lampard wants the Brazil international to stay.

Neymar appears to be on thin ice at Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi warned he will not tolerate any "celebrity behaviour" from players.

And the Brazil star could be set to pay the price for his lavish ways in the French capital.

 

TOP STORY – PSG PREPARED TO PART WITH NEYMAR

If you can stump up €222million or more, Neymar could be yours.

According to L'Equipe, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are willing to sell their world-record signing.

Neymar – who is recovering from an ankle injury that forced him out of Brazil's Copa America campaign – arrived from Barcelona for a world-record fee in 2017.

And the 27-year-old continues to be linked with a return to LaLiga with former club Barcelona or their great rivals Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Standard says Paul Pogba has been told he will not be sold by Manchester United, despite the Frenchman publicly stating his desire to seek a challenge elsewhere. Pogba has been linked to Real Madrid and a return to Juventus.

- Juventus have not given up on signing in-demand Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, according to Tuttosport. PSG are believed to be favourites but Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved is set to meet with agent Mino Raiola.

- Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal reportedly has an offer from the Chinese Super League, according to soccerlink.fr. The arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax could spell the end of the Chilean's career at Camp Nou.

- L'Equipe says Arsenal have moved closer to signing 18-year-old Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba. The Teenager has reportedly agreed a five-year contract in London.

- Ligue 1 side Lyon have opened talks to sign Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, according to L'Equipe. The Brazil international full-back's contract expires at the end of June and he has been linked to Barcelona.

- With Maurizio Sarri confirmed as Juventus head coach, the Italian champions are set to target Inter outcast Mauro Icardi and Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Maurizio Sarri's spell as Chelsea boss is officially over after just 11 months in charge as it was confirmed on Sunday he is returning to Serie A with Juventus.

The former Napoli boss lifted the Europa League and finished third in the Premier League during his only season at Stamford Bridge, while also only missing out on EFL Cup glory in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester City in the final.

But Sarri never truly won over Chelsea supporters with his style of play and a new man - likely to be Blues legend Frank Lampard - will now take over ahead of the new season.

Lampard has just one year of managerial experience under his belt, having guided Derby County to the Championship play-off final in 2018-19, yet he is considered the frontrunner to succeed Sarri.

Here, we look at the winners and losers following the Italian's exit and Lampard's possible appointment.


LOSERS

Jorginho

He was the marquee signing lured to Chelsea last year following Sarri's arrival and was supposed to be the player that personified his coach's style of play. That in many ways turned out to be true, but not in a good way. Pass-master Jorginho was often criticised by his own supporters last season, not helped by Sarri's decision to play him in the position favoured by fan favourite N'Golo Kante, and it remains to be seen whether he has a future at Stamford Bridge under the new management.

Gianfranco Zola

Zola, whose return to Chelsea in a coaching capacity seemed like a shrewd piece of business at the time, is expected to make way during the close-season as part of a backroom reshuffle. Each member of Sarri's coaching staff reportedly only had one-year deals and that was no different for Zola, who it is said will not form part of Lampard's team.

Gonzalo Higuain

Chelsea chiefs will argue they backed Sarri in January by bringing in Higuain from Juventus in a complicated and protracted deal. The Blues have the option of signing the striker on a permanent basis, but that now seems even more unlikely to happen following Sarri's departure. Another reunion with the man who got so much out of him at Napoli awaits, but Juventus have already loaned him out twice and his chances will surely be limited in a side that already contains Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Moise Kean and Mario Mandzukic.

 

WINNERS

Olivier Giroud

The Frenchman did not hide his frustration at a lack of first-team chances last season, made all the more disappointing by the fact that he regularly took his opportunities when they arrived in the Europa League. Chelsea triggered a one-year extension in Giroud's contract last month and he may now have a bigger part to play, especially given that Higuain - used regularly through the middle by Sarri - is seemingly heading back to his parent club.

N'Golo Kante

Easily the most frustrating of Sarri's tactical tweaks, the experiment to use Kante out of position went on for far too long - eight months too long, in the view of many Shed End regulars. The Word Cup winner, widely considered to be the best defensive midfielder in the world in the two seasons leading up to Sarri's arrival, was used on the right of a three-man midfield. Moving Kante back into his favoured holding role should be the first tweak made by the next manager..

The youngsters

Sarri was reluctant to use Callum Hudson-Odoi for large parts of last season, despite coming in for criticism from the stands, and there was also limited playing time for many of the other talented youngsters in Chelsea's bloated squad. With Sarri no longer around, though, and a two-window transfer ban hanging over the club, the younger players may play a more significant role from next season - not least the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori following their successful time on loan in the Championship with Lampard's Derby.

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to take over Juventus on a three-year contract, it has been confirmed.

Sarri had only completed one of the three seasons Chelsea contracted him for, but an agreement was reached to allow him to return to Serie A, where he led Napoli to a second-place finish in 2017-18.

The Italian coach's position had been in doubt for several months due to a number of issues at Chelsea, and Frank Lampard has been tipped to replace him at the helm.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant.

"He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the wellbeing of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them at this point.

"Maurizio leaves Chelsea with thanks from us all for the work he and his assistants did during the season he spent as our head coach, and for winning the Europa League, guiding us to another cup final and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

"We would also like to congratulate him on securing the role as big as any in Serie A and to wish him the best of luck for the future."

Although he departs after a commendable third-place finish in the Premier League and winning the Europa League, Sarri's time in England was anything but smooth.

After an encouraging start domestically, Sarri's style of play began to be criticised and there were suggestions it was not quick enough to thrive in England.

The signing of Jorginho, who followed the coach from Napoli, received particularly negative attention.

A poor run of form towards the end of 2018 stretched into the New Year and saw Chelsea ship 10 goals without reply in successive away matches to Bournemouth and Manchester City.

That left Sarri's job in doubt, while Kepa Arrizabalaga's decision to defy the coach's attempt to substitute him in the EFL Cup final defeat to City led to suggestions the Italian had lost the dressing room.

Sarri held on and managed to guide Chelsea to a third-place finish and Europa League glory, with reports prior to the game in Baku suggesting defeat would result in his sacking.

However, he has been allowed to leave in a move that could pave the way for fan favourite Lampard to return to Stamford Bridge following his first season in management.

Lampard's strong links to Chelsea will not be his only advantage – he thrived under a tight budget at Derby County, using loans and young players, and that will likely stand him in good stead if the Blues' transfer embargo stands.

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to take over Juventus on a three-year contract, it has been confirmed.

From Madrid to Munich? Gareth Bale could be set for a new challenge.

Out of favour at Real Madrid, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are reportedly eyeing the Wales star.

With Madrid looking to trim their wage bill and raise some funds, Bale appears headed for the exit door…

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN WANT BALE

According to The Sun, Bayern Munich are ready to offer Gareth Bale an escape from Real Madrid.

Having already signed Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes, Madrid are looking to sell as Zinedine Zidane continues his overhaul in the Spanish capital.

And with Niko Kovac's Bayern keen to bolster their attacking options on the flank following the departures of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, the German giants are reportedly prepared to take Bale on loan.

 

 

ROUND-UP

- Radio CRC in Italy reports that Napoli have moved closer to signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, which would reunite the Colombia star with Carlo Ancelotti after he was lured to Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal in 2017.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will submit a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to Real Madrid, according to ABC. Meanwhile, the Mirror claims the French World Cup winner is prepared to go on strike.

- The Mirror also says Mohamed Salah will weigh up his Liverpool future at the end of the 2019-20 season, despite reported interest from Juventus and Real Madrid.

- According to Sky Sports News, Manchester United are interested in West Ham defender Issa Diop. The Red Devils are reportedly willing to pay £45million plus a player. It comes as United struggle in their pursuit of a centre-back as they continue to be linked to Leicester City's Harry Maguire and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also reportedly persevering in his efforts to prise Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

- Premier League champions Manchester City have moved ahead of rivals Manchester United and Atletico Madrid in the race to sign Benfica sensation Joao Felix. That is according to the Daily Mail, which claims City's willingness to loan the 19-year-old – who has a £105million release clause – back to the Portuguese champions has tilted the transfer battle in their favour.

- The Daily Star reports Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann will reject Manchester United's advances to team up with Lionel Messi at LaLiga champions Barcelona.

- According to Sky Germany, Mats Hummels is close to re-joining Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich. The 30-year-old defender left Dortmund in 2016.

David Beckham is keen to make a splash when Inter Miami FC enter MLS in 2020.

And he has reportedly identified former Inter captain Mauro Icardi as a player to lead the club's attack in the United States.

Icardi is out of favour in Milan and could be set for a switch to the sunny beaches of south Florida.

 

TOP STORY – BECKHAM EYES ICARDI

Inter outcast Mauro Icardi has received an offer from David Beckham's Inter Miami, according to Argentine news agency Telam.

Icardi was stripped of the Inter captaincy in 2018-19 and new head coach Antonio Conte is reportedly determined to sell the striker.

With Icardi's future in Milan uncertain amid apparent interest from Serie A champions Juventus, a move to Miami for the 2020 season could tempt the 26-year-old and his family.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter's determination to part with Mauro Icardi is so they can reportedly free up funds to sign Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United. However, Corriere dello Sport claims the Italian club have rejected the possibility of a player exchange as the Red Devils look to include centre-back Milan Skriniar in a potential swap deal.

- The Sun reports Arsenal are ramping up their efforts to raise funds by selling maligned playmaker Mesut Ozil. The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League again and Unai Emery is looking to continue his rebuild.

- LaLiga champions Barcelona are willing to offer €25million to sign Borussia Dortmund left-back Raphael Guerreiro, according to Sport. Barca want to provide competition for Jordi Alba.

- According to le10sport, Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Ajax and Brazil star David Neres, who is on international duty at the Copa America. PSG have also reportedly made an enquiry for Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims.

- The Daily Mail reports Tottenham are not looking to sign Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who is believed to be a target for Manchester United.

Claude Makelele has left his role as head coach at Belgian side Eupen amid links to Chelsea.

The Frenchman moved to the Pro League club in 2017, having previously been an assistant at Swansea City.

Makelele won two Premier League titles during a productive playing career with Chelsea, who look set to allow head coach Maurizio Sarri to take over at Juventus.

It has been reported Frank Lampard will replace the Italian and Makelele could form part of his backroom staff, though the 46-year-old made no comment on those rumours in a statement on Eupen's website.

"I am obviously sad to leave Eupen, but I believe it is the right decision for both parties to enable the club to take a new approach and direction," he said.

"I would like to thank the club and especially [director] Andreas Bleicher for the opportunity they gave me to join the club one and a half years ago, and I wish all the best of luck to my successor."

Mohamed Salah out and Nicolas Pepe in at Liverpool?

Liverpool are reportedly willing to sell star forward Salah in order to bring Lille's Pepe to Anfield.

Salah is coming off a memorable Champions League triumph with the Reds but could be heading out the door.

 

TOP STORY – SALAH COULD MAKE WAY FOR PEPE

According to le10sport, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is prepared to sacrifice Salah to sign Lille forward Pepe.

Pepe took Ligue 1 by storm with 22 goals as Lille qualified for the Champions League and Liverpool are believed to be among the Ivory Coast international's admirers.

The Reds are so keen apparently that they are prepared to sell top scorer Salah, who reportedly has a complicated relationship with Klopp.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Maurizio Sarri saga appears to be reaching its conclusion, with Sky Italy reporting Chelsea and Juventus have reached a deal to allow the Italian to move to the Serie A champions. The former Napoli coach's return to Italy is set to pave the way for ex-Chelsea star and Derby County manager Frank Lampard to take over at Stamford Bridge.

- According to AS, LaLiga champions Barcelona are making back-up plans should they miss out on Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, who is the subject of interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Juve.

- Premier League title-holders Manchester City have been put off by a £90million price tag on Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, according to The Daily Mail. Pep Guardiola is reportedly eyeing the England international as a replacement for Vincent Kompany, while neighbours United are also interested.

- Liverpool are not interested in making another move for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, The Independent reports. The Champions League winners came close to signing the France international last year but pulled out amid reported concerns over his knee.

- Carlo Ancelotti is still determined to bring Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez to Napoli, says AS. James' future is up in the air after Bayern Munich opted against signing the Colombia international permanently following a two-year loan spell.

- Cadena SER claims Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde is ready to sell Ivan Rakitic amid reported interest from United. The same station also says Marco Asensio is among the players on the market at Madrid following the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes.

- United and rumoured Madrid target Paul Pogba has no intention of remaining at Old Trafford in 2019-20, according to L'Equipe.

Eden Hazard insists he does not view himself as a Galactico just yet, but the Belgium international hopes he can make a lasting impression at Real Madrid.

After several transfer windows in which Los Blancos were linked with a move for Hazard, the 28-year-old finally made the switch from Chelsea last week, signing a five-year deal with the 13-time European champions.

Madrid have overhauled their squad following a disappointing 2018-19 and Hazard is the biggest name to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu so far.

The club have a history of acquiring the best players in the world having brought in Luis Figo, current boss Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham during the Galactico era of the early 2000s, yet Hazard refrained from putting himself in that company at his unveiling on Thursday.

"I'm not a Galactico, maybe one day I'd like to be considered a Galactico," he told reporters.

"I'm Eden Hazard and I have to start afresh here, it's a new chapter. I think I'm a very good player."

In five of the last six years, the Ballon d'Or winner has been playing for Real Madrid, with Luka Modric succeeding Cristiano Ronaldo - now of Juventus - in winning the prize in 2018.

Hazard finished eighth in the voting last year and many believe he can strengthen his credentials for the game's top individual prize having swapped Chelsea for Madrid.

"Well the [current] Ballon d'Or winner plays for Real Madrid... do I think it's easier? I don't know," he said.

"It depends how we play. It's true they've been winning the awards for many years now but it's not a goal of mine to win the Ballon d'Or.

"I'm here to help my team, my team-mates and maybe one day I'll win it but it's at the back of my mind. It's more important the club win titles."

Hazard spent seven seasons at Chelsea but insists he is still only entering his prime.

"I don't think I'm joining the club late on in my career - I'm just 28... between 27 and 32, those are the best years for a footballer," he claimed.

"I know there's been a lot of rumours and I've been linked to this club for many years but I've enjoyed spells at Lille and Chelsea and now I'm joining the biggest club in the world and will hopefully continue to develop and progress as a footballer."

Jorginho has "no idea" if Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri will continue at Stamford Bridge as he continues to be linked with Juventus.

Sarri is reportedly set to sign a three-year deal to replace Massimiliano Allegri in Turin after just one season in charge of Premier League side Chelsea.

Jorginho followed Sarri from Serie A outfit Napoli to Chelsea ahead of the 2018-19 campaign but the Italy midfielder does not know what the future holds for the 60-year-old.

"I don't know, we'll see what he chooses," Jorginho told Rai Sport following Italy's 3-0 win over Greece in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.

"I have no idea what he'll do, to be honest, as I am focused on Italy right now."

In his first season at Chelsea, Sarri guided the Blues to third in the Premier League and Europa League glory.

Jorginho, who arrived in a reported £50million transfer, made 54 appearances and scored two goals across all competitions for Chelsea.

Eden Hazard will make the difference at Real Madrid and help lead the LaLiga giants to many titles next season, according to Thibaut Courtois.

Hazard joined Madrid from Premier League side Chelsea on a five-year deal on Friday for a fee that could reportedly rise to €140million.

The Belgium international attacker won two Premier League titles and as many Europa League crowns during his time at Chelsea, where he played alongside Courtois before the star goalkeeper left for Madrid in 2018-19.

And Courtois – whose first season in Madrid resulted in a third-place finish in LaLiga – is expecting big things from Hazard at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"If he speaks a little Spanish, it will be even better," Courtois said following Belgium's 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Kazakhstan on Saturday.

"It's very nice that we're going to be together. He's my friend, I get along very well with him and his family.

"For Madrid it's going to be fantastic. I think [Hazard] is going to make the difference and I hope we can win many titles next season."

Belgium team-mate and Napoli forward Dries Mertens also praised Hazard following his move to Madrid.

"I'm happy for him, it's a good step forward," Mertens, who scored against Kazakhstan, said post-match. "He's already one of the best players in the world, and now he has to take advantage of his opportunities to become the best of all."

Hazard – who led Chelsea to Europa League glory this season – is the fourth new arrival at Zinedine Zidane's Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

The 28-year-old follows Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo Goes to the Spanish capital club, with Madrid also reportedly eyeing Lyon full-back Ferland Mendy, Manchester United star Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar.

Eden Hazard completed his much-anticipated move from Chelsea to Real Madrid on Friday, the 13-time European champions agreeing to pay a fee that could rise to €140million.

In doing so, Hazard became the latest Premier League superstar to be drawn to the bright lights of LaLiga.

Over the past decade, Barcelona and Madrid have repeatedly cherry-picked the English top flight's hottest talent – a policy that has helped deliver six Champions League titles between the two great rivals in the 10 seasons from 2009-10.

Will Hazard's arrival return Madrid to the head of European club football's top table? He has a lot to live up to if he is to fill the shoes of the first man on our list of players to recently swap the Premier League for LaLiga.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United to Real Madrid, €94m, July 2009

Arguably the greatest ever player to have represented the mighty Madrid. The Portuguese arrived from United and, in an incessant personal battle with Barca icon Lionel Messi, set new standards for goalscoring feats. In all, Ronaldo rattled in a record 450 for Los Blancos and delivered two LaLiga crowns as well as a remarkable four Champions Leagues over a five-year period of dominance. Now 34, he left for Juventus in a €112m switch last July.

Luka Modric, Tottenham to Real Madrid, €35m, August 2012

Alongside Toni Kroos in midfield, the heartbeat of the Madrid side that left the rest of Europe trailing in their wake. A glorious technician with Spurs, Modric blossomed even further at the Santiago Bernabeu into a player capable of controlling the tempo of games on the grandest stage. His individual brilliance was recognised last year as he broke the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly on the Ballon d'Or, having inspired Croatia to the World Cup final.

Gareth Bale, Tottenham to Real Madrid, €101m, September 2013

An immediate hit at the Bernabeu, Bale helped to secure the club's 10th European Cup at the end of his first season, scoring the crucial second goal against rivals Atletico Madrid. He has made a habit of delivering in major finals – a stunning solo effort against Barca in the 2014 Copa del Rey and a frankly ridiculous overhead bicycle kick against Liverpool to help win the 2018 Champions League ought to have endeared him to Madrid fans forever. But, amid injuries and a loss of form, it has gone slightly sour for Bale and rumours abound he is keen to leave the Spanish capital.

Luis Suarez, Liverpool to Barcelona, €81m, July 2014

Having almost earned the Reds a first league crown since 1990 in a devastating partnership with Daniel Sturridge in 2013-14, Suarez made the move to Camp Nou to link up with Messi and Neymar as part of the fabled 'MSN' strikeforce. Together, the trio inspired Barca to the treble at the end of that first season – just three of the 11 major honours picked up by Suarez in the five seasons since he left Liverpool behind.

Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool to Barcelona, €130m, January 2018

It is fair to say Barca will probably feel they are yet to see value for their significant outlay on another South American star taken from Anfield. Coutinho has struggled to find his feet at Camp Nou thus far, starting just 22 league games in his first full season with the Blaugrana. To make matters worse, he was essentially anonymous over two legs against his old club in last month's Champions League semi-final, hauled off on the hour in both matches.

Who's next?

With Madrid and Barca proving attractive prospects for any footballer with lofty ambitions, it seems certain that Hazard will not be the last Premier League superstar to join one of the colossal Clasico clubs. Paul Pogba is repeatedly linked with a move to LaLiga's big two, while Christian Eriksen has already indicated he is ready to leave Spurs and find a new challenge – Madrid being widely reported as his likely destination. United goalkeeper David de Gea is never far away from speculation about his future, while Sadio Mane and Harry Kane have previously been suggested as targets for Madrid, as has Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette for Barca.

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