Which number will he choose if he joins? Hazard’s shirt dilemma at Real Madrid

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Eden Hazard of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on January 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

There’s just one problem with Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid – his favourite No.10 shirt is already taken.

Hazard has worn the No.10 shirt for both Chelsea and Belgium for a number of years, but Luka Modric has that number at Los Blancos.

Real Madrid are already working on the Belgian’s presentation at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu; one that will generate huge interest and lots of fans.

The club’s marketing department want to maximise shirt sales when Hazard signs, but the only number currently available in the first team squad is No.16.

That particular shirt doesn’t have any link to any famous names in Real Madrid’s history, nor does it have any relation to Hazard himself.

Real Madrid would prefer to present Hazard in the new kit, which comes out on Friday, and with his name and number already written on the back.

Ballon d’Or winner Modric may be asked to vacate his shirt number so Hazard can take it, but that could prove unpopular with the supporters.

Mariano Diaz, who was the only player willing to take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s No.7 last year, has insisted that he’s staying at the club for next season.

Gareth Bale could be vacating the No.11 shirt if he moves on this summer, but that’s been lined up for Vinicius Junior, who currently has 28.

Hazard started life at Chelsea with the No.17 on his back, but that shirt is currently held by Lucas Vazquez.

Real Madrid aren’t planning to take shirt numbers away from any of the current players, but there’s pressure for every detail to be sorted by Hazard’s presentation.