Tapping up is an unsavoury business. Naughty chairmen requesting illicit hotel meetings with other team’s players. Sleazy agents facilitating greed and deception. Crafty managers cornering transfer targets in lifts and promising them a first-team place while shoving wads of cash down their shorts. Terrible.
But what about when it’s the player tapping up the club?
That’s quite possibly even worse. Instead of being the guy sleeping with another man’s wife, you’re the woman cheating on her own husband. It’s unfaithful, it’s sneaky, it’s brazen.
It is – allegedly – Eden Hazard.
The Chelsea playmaker has apparently been very flirtatious recently. He’s been coveting a older man – a powerful man – and he’s attempting to seduce the gentleman with his comely footballing assets.
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The Star – via our friends Don Balon, who else? – reports that Hazard “keeps calling” Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, 70, to try to “sort a move to the Spanish capital”.
What Perez makes of such forwardness is unclear; he’s normally the one doing the chasing. But what we do know is that his coach, Zinedine Zidane, is very fond of Hazard. To use Don Balon’s (Google Translated) words, the Frenchman believes he “could get all the juice” from the Belgian. Crikey.
Alexis and Wilshere seek Emirates escape
Hazard, however, has competition, because there is another gorgeous young buck equally keen to make Madrid wish they had a man like him – and that is Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean has reportedly enlisted his agent to “make the deal happen”. So at least, unlike Hazard, he has maintained a shred of dignity by getting someone else to do his dirty work.
And there’s a theme emerging here, because another player is reportedly being proactive and reaching out to another club in an attempt to secure a move.
The Star says Sanchez’s Gunners team-mate Jack Wilshere is aiming to “persuade” West Ham to sign him in January and “save him from his Arsenal misery”. The midfielder won’t be calling David Sullivan like Hazard though; he’ll probably just send his son a direct message on Twitter instead.
Elsewhere, Derby County are keen to snap up former Crystal Palace midfielder Joe Ledley, who is currently a free agent (Derby Telegraph), Manchester United fear they could lose academy wonderkid Angel Gomes to Barcelona after talks over the teenager’s first professional contract stalled (Sun) and Red Devils midfielder Marouane Fellaini is refusing to sign a new contract at Old Trafford because he wants an “improved deal” (Mail). That first start of the season against Everton has really gone to his head.