Thibaut Courtois admits he and Eden Hazard discussed the prospect of joining Real Madrid while still at Chelsea. 

Belgium international Courtois made the move to Madrid in 2018 and was joined at the Santiago Bernabeu by compatriot Hazard 12 months later.

Both players publicly flirted with the Spanish giants before making the switch and Courtois says he openly talked about playing for Madrid with Hazard.

"In the Chelsea dressing room, we spoke about the possibility of playing here," he told El Mundo.

"'The White House, the White House' we said. It was nice to speculate about it.

"Now, we are very eager to win trophies here."

Hazard has been limited to just 15 appearances for Madrid since arriving in a reported €100million deal due to injury and fitness problems.

The 29-year-old broke his ankle prior to the LaLiga campaign being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he has used the near-three-month hiatus as a chance to fully recover in time for the planned restart in mid-June.

"Hazard is back and with a lot of energy," Courtois added.

"The stoppage has enabled him to get fit again. He can help us win the title. He is a key player for us."

Real Madrid trail leaders Barcelona by two points with 11 games to play.

Eden Hazard can win the Ballon d'Or at Real Madrid, according to Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez.

Hazard swapped Chelsea for Madrid in a blockbuster €100million transfer at the start of the 2019-20 season but the Belgium star has struggled at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Injury and fitness problems have limited Hazard to just 15 appearances in the Spanish capital, where the attacker had not played since February 22 due to a broken ankle prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

But national team boss Martinez – who extended his Belgium contract on Wednesday – is expecting big things from Hazard.

"He can totally win the Ballon d'Or with Real Madrid, without a doubt," Martinez told Cadena Ser.

"Sometimes it takes a difficult start at your new club to give everything you have inside and understand what it means to play in a great club like Real Madrid. 

"Eden does not miss games, he lost 18 games with Chelsea in eight years and this has been circumstantial. The game that was injured against Paris Saint-Germain we already saw Eden with a lot of joy in his football with a great connection with his team-mates. I think Real Madrid fans are confident that he will bring many successes."

Madrid last week returned to their Valdebebas base for the first time in two months, with most major sport across the globe suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The players undertook individual sessions before working in groups on Monday, as LaLiga clubs took a step towards resuming their normal activities – the league hoping to restart in June.

Martinez added: "He is very happy. The footballer Eden is in a moment of great joy, he is very comfortable.

"All the steps have been taken in great detail and I would have had no problem to end the season with Real Madrid and reach the European Championship. I see him very happy and looking forward to some joy this season."

Roberto Martinez has penned a new contract to stay on as Belgium head coach until 2022, the Royal Belgian Football Federation (KBVB) has announced.

Martinez was appointed by Belgium in 2016 and his new contract will see him remain in charge of the team through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Spaniard led Belgium's so-called 'golden generation' of talent to the semi-finals of Russia 2018, where they were beaten by eventual champions France before defeating England in the third-place play-off to secure their best ever finish at a World Cup.

His previous deal was set to expire after Euro 2020, which was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Belgium, who are top of FIFA's world rankings, were among the favourites for glory in the tournament after absolutely dominating in qualifying, winning all 10 matches with a plus-37 goal difference.

The announcement was accompanied by a clip of captain and Real Madrid star Eden Hazard playing the popular video game franchise FIFA, while pretending to take a call from international team-mate Romelu Lukaku.

"The coach has signed! The coach has signed, ole, ole, ole. 'Hi Romelu, did you see the coach has signed? Yes, isn't that great news! Okay, bye,'" Hazard says in the short video.

Belgium are due to host a news conference with Martinez later on Wednesday where he will discuss his new contract.

Under Martinez, Belgium has lost just three of their 43 matches and they were drawn to face Russia, Denmark and Finland in the European Championship.

Eden Hazard needs to do more physical work to complete his recovery from a broken ankle and represent Real Madrid again this season.

Madrid last week returned to their Valdebebas base for the first time in two months, with most major sport across the globe suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The players undertook individual sessions before working in groups on Monday, as LaLiga clubs took a step towards resuming their normal activities.

Hazard has not played since February 22, however, having broken his ankle in the 1-0 league defeat against Levante, meaning he has made just 15 appearances for Madrid since joining from Chelsea for €100million last year.

The Belgium international was delighted to have a session with his team-mates but acknowledged he needs to put it a lot more work before he is ready to return.

"I feel very good to be back on the pitch working with my team-mates," Hazard told Real Madrid TV.

"Now we have to wait for the matches to come, but I'm very happy. After two months away I need more physical work and more ball work. I just want to be ready for the next game.

"Now the training is better, we can train the way we like to. The first week was a bit strange, but now we can train again in groups and also attacking the goal.

"We just want to be all together and try to work as a group."

LaLiga president Javier Tebas hopes the competition will be ready to resume from June 12.

Eden Hazard was pictured training with Real Madrid as Los Blancos cranked up preparations for a potential LaLiga resumption next month.

It has been an injury-hit debut campaign for Hazard, who joined from Chelsea in a big-money move prior to the 2019-20 season.

The Belgium forward fractured his right ankle during a 1-0 defeat at Levante in February, having recovered from a similar injury sustained in a Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain in November.

But Hazard was back in training on Monday, with the Spanish top flight having been halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale and Marcelo were also shown on Madrid's Twitter account, with several others included in a gallery on the club's official website.

A Madrid statement read: "Two months later, the squad has returned to the training pitches at Real Madrid City. 

"The players have been working out since 10am under the direction of Zinedine Zidane and the strict health rules of the LFP protocol for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Divided into two shifts and on various pitches, the Real Madrid players perform their first individual exercises with and without the ball."

Barcelona returned to training on Friday, with fellow LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid back a day later.

Atletico's Brazilian left-back Renan Lodi was absent amid reports he had tested positive for coronavirus, with the club alluding to the situation with a message on Twitter that read: "Renan Lodi salutes you from home. See you soon on the pitch!" 

LaLiga has no definitive return date as yet, but president Javier Tebas said on Sunday he is targeting a resumption from June 12 and matches taking place every day for 35 days.

Barca led Madrid by two points after 27 rounds prior to LaLiga's suspension.

Eden Hazard has looked self-conscious for Real Madrid this season but can still be a success at the club, according to former Chelsea team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

Hazard joined Madrid from the Blues for €100million last June but has endured a difficult first season in LaLiga.

The Belgium star has started only nine league matches in 2019-20 having been beset by fitness and injury problems, most recently a broken shinbone.

Fabregas, though, is confident Hazard can prove his worth to head coach Zinedine Zidane.

"He's played several good games for Madrid, but it's true that sometimes he's looked a little self-conscious," Monaco midfielder Fabregas told RTVE.

"He's always been a player who's had a hard time starting seasons. But I predict a great future."

With Hazard struggling, Madrid have been persistently linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, who is reportedly keen on playing at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Fabregas has no doubt the France forward would thrive in the Madrid set-up.

"He's a very hungry boy who wants to be the best. Because of the way he plays, he'd fit in very well at Real Madrid," he said.

Fabregas' Ligue 1 campaign is at an end, with authorities in France having decided to finish the season early and decide placings on a points-per-game average.

LaLiga still hopes to resume 2019-20 but there remain concerns about the feasibility of staging the remaining matches safely.

Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made it clear this week that settling the season in a similar way to France, which could see league leaders Barcelona awarded the title, would be unfair given Los Blancos have a better head-to-head record this term.

Fabregas thinks Barca would be worthy winners, though.

"They told us everything was cancelled and nothing else was being played. It took us by surprise," he said of the decision to end Ligue 1.

"If it [LaLiga] stops as it has in France, Barca would be the right winners. We're not stopping because we like it. We're doing it for an unavoidable reason."

Saturday should have seen Barcelona host Atletico Madrid in LaLiga and pit Antoine Griezmann against his old club once more.

Griezmann left Atleti for Camp Nou in the second most expensive transfer of the previous close season, his €120million move eclipsed only by Joao Felix, the man bought to replace him.

Neither player has exactly enjoyed a resoundingly triumphant season, which is an affliction to hit many of the top 10 most expensive transfers of 2019.

We look at each of those players and whether their signings have, until now, been a hit or a miss...

 

JOAO FELIX: Benfica to Atletico Madrid (€126m)

Benfica and Portugal's golden boy scored in pre-season victories over Juventus and Real Madrid to give Atleti fans reason to believe the post-Griezmann future was bright.

However, just six goals in 28 competitive appearances later, doubts have been growing as to whether the 20-year-old forward will ever truly suit Diego Simeone's system.

VERDICT: MISS

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN: Atletico Madrid to Barcelona (€120m)

Griezmann vowed to stay at Atletico in 2018 only to change his mind a year later, and his performances for Barca are in keeping with a man not quite at ease in his surroundings.

Only Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez better his goal involvements for the Blaugrana in LaLiga this term (eight goals and four assists), while he is second only to Messi for chances created (26), but fans were entitled to expect more from the club's latest mega-money forward.

VERDICT: MISS

EDEN HAZARD: Chelsea to Real Madrid (€100m)

Chelsea fans feared the worst when their star man was lost during a transfer embargo, but things have hardly gone swimmingly for Hazard at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Injury problems have restricted him to just nine starts and a solitary goal and assist in LaLiga. He has also only created 14 chances, as many as James Rodriguez (who has started just four league games) and Lucas Vazquez (who has started six).

VERDICT: MISS

HARRY MAGUIRE: Leicester City to Manchester United (€87m)

The world's most expensive central defender might not be thought of as the world's best, but that should not detract from his impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

He leads the way for duels won, aerial duels won, blocks and interceptions among United defenders in the Premier League this season, helping them to eight clean sheets. Oh, and he's already been made club captain.

VERDICT: HIT

MATTHIJS DE LIGT: Ajax to Juventus (€85m)

The most coveted centre-back of the window after Ajax's remarkable Champions League run, De Ligt delivered a dreadful performance on his Juventus debut in a 4-3 win over Napoli.

He has won the most aerial duels and has the pass success rate of any Juve defender to feature more than five times in Serie A this term, but there are already doubts about his long-term suitability to Maurizio Sarri's side.

VERDICT: MISS

LUCAS HERNANDEZ: Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich (€80m)

Bayern smashed their transfer record to sign defender Hernandez, but injuries have made it difficult to assess whether the money will prove to be well-spent.

A knee problem in September was followed by a serious ankle injury that kept him out for nearly four months, meaning he has started only nine games in all competitions for the Bundesliga champions.

VERDICT: MISS

NICOLAS PEPE: Lille to Arsenal (€80m)

Pepe was something of a symbol of Unai Emery's problematic final few weeks in charge as he struggled badly to find form for the Gunners.

He has certainly shown signs of improvement in 2020 – only Mesut Ozil (38) has created more chances in the league than Pepe (34) for Arsenal – but fans will have hoped for more from their record signing.

VERDICT: MISS

FRENKIE DE JONG: Ajax to Barcelona (€75m)

Another Ajax star who became coveted by clubs across Europe last year, De Jong opted for Barca and immediately became a regular in midfield.

He has not quite adapted to life in LaLiga - Ernesto Valverde's exit and Quique Setien's arrival as coach did not help - but, in turbulent times for the club, he looks to be a safe bet as the beating heart of Barca for years to come: he had created more chances (24) than any other Barca midfielder this term and only Sergio Busquets has more recoveries and interceptions.

VERDICT: HIT

RODRI: Atletico Madrid to Manchester City (€70m)

Manchester City's record signing has proved a smart bit of a business given midfield-anchor supreme Fernandinho has spent much of this season in defence.

Rodri has attempted more passes (1,996), recorded a better passing accuracy (92 per cent) and more recoveries (181) than any other City midfielder in 2019-20. He looks very much at home in Pep Guardiola's system.

VERDICT: HIT

ROMELU LUKAKU: Manchester United to Inter (€65m)

Lukaku's move to Inter seems to have been that rarity in modern-day transfers: a deal that has worked out well for everyone concerned.

United's attack is taking the more fluid shape Solskjaer wants, Antonio Conte at last got the forward he tried to bring to Juventus and Chelsea, and Lukaku has looked in the form of his career, with 17 goals and two assists in Serie A as part of a fearsome partnership with Lautaro Martinez.

VERDICT: HIT

Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez has revealed Eden Hazard is recovering well from ankle surgery and believes he will "return stronger".

Real Madrid forward Hazard fractured his right ankle during a 1-0 LaLiga defeat at Levante in February, having recovered from a similar injury sustained in a Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain in November.

The former Chelsea playmaker underwent surgery in the United States before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Martinez gave a positive update on Hazard's condition amid uncertainty over when Madrid will be back in action.

The Spaniard told Belgian media: "I know he is recovering well. He is not far from running again and there are no complications.

"Everything went well with the operation, but you also hope that everything goes well in the four to five weeks afterwards without complications, and there were none."

He added: "We know he will return stronger. We were also fortunate, of course, to have his surgery take place just before the coronavirus outbreak.

"Otherwise he would not be able to travel or be treated outside of Madrid. I have a positive feeling that Eden will be back soon."

Whatever your thoughts on modern-day Jose Mourinho, you cannot deny his legacy in football. For one thing, he wouldn't let you.

Eight league titles across four different countries, domestic cups with Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United, one Europa League, two Champions Leagues, the 2009-10 treble... Mourinho has a trophy cabinet that would be the envy of most coaches in the game.

His teams have, of course, boasted their fair share of star names who have helped him on his way to greatness - even if he didn't get on with them all. In fact, last weekend, Marca published a series of ideal XIs from football figures across the world, including one selected by Mourinho himself from his best club sides.

It's a pretty formidable line-up, but we at Stats Perform think we might have one to match. Each one contains a notable Opta fact for each player.

See which team you think is best...

MOURINHO'S BEST XI (according to the man himself):

Petr Cech
In Mourinho's first season in charge at Chelsea, Cech kept 24 clean sheets in the Premier League (2004-05), a record in the competition.

Javier Zanetti
Zanetti was the only outfield player to play every minute of Inter's 2009-10 Champions League-winning campaign under Mourinho.

John Terry
Chelsea's former captain has made more Premier League appearances under Mourinho (187) than any other player, scoring 15 goals.

Ricardo Carvalho
The centre-back played under Mourinho for three different sides (Porto, Chelsea and Real Madrid) – indeed, no player has made more Champions League appearances under the Portuguese than Carvalho (54).

William Gallas
Only John Terry (15) has netted more Premier League goals among defenders under Mourinho than Gallas (seven – level with Branislav Ivanovic).

Claude Makelele
In Chelsea's title-winning campaign of 2004-05, Makelele made 140 interceptions from the heart of Chelsea's midfield. Only Patrick Viera (156) made more among outfield players that season.

Frank Lampard
Lampard scored more Premier League goals under Mourinho (49) than any other player. In 2004-05 Lampard became the first Premier League midfielder to reach double figures for both goals (13) and assists (18) since Matt Le Tissier in 1994-95, whilst only Thierry Henry (39) registered more goal involvements than the Englishman (31).

Eden Hazard
During Mourinho's second tenure in charge at Chelsea, Hazard scored in more Premier League games than any other player for the club (24 – 28 goals).

Mesut Ozil
Ozil provided more assists (47) and created more chances (314) than any other player under Mourinho in LaLiga.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo scored 153 LaLiga goals under Mourinho, 83 more than any other player for Madrid during this period. He also scored 12 Champions League goals in 2012-13: at that stage, only Lionel Messi (14 goals in 2011-12) had scored more goals in a single Champions League campaign.

Didier Drogba
Drogba won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2006-07 under Mourinho (20 goals), despite Chelsea finishing second that season behind Manchester United.

AN ALTERNATIVE BEST MOURINHO XI (according to Stats Perform):

Iker Casillas
Only Victor Valdes (42) kept more clean sheets among LaLiga goalkeepers than Casillas (35) while Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid.

Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta was Chelsea's Players' Player of the Year in Mourinho's first season back at the Blues in 2013-14.

Sergio Ramos
In Mourinho's three seasons at Real Madrid, only Guilherme Siqueira scored more LaLiga goals among defenders than Ramos (10).

Marco Materazzi
The treble-winning defender's only Champions League goal came in the 2008-09 season under Mourinho, against Anorthosis Famagusta in the group stages.

Marcelo
The Brazilian completed more dribbles in LaLiga than any other defender during Mourinho's stint as Real Madrid boss (154).

Esteban Cambiasso
Only captain Javier Zanetti (75) and keeper Julio Cesar (74) played more league games for Inter under Mourinho than Cambiasso (65).

Paul Pogba
No United player was involved in more Premier League goals than Pogba while Mourinho was in charge at Old Trafford (31 – 14 goals, 17 assists).

Deco
Deco was involved in more goals than any other Porto player in their successful 2003-04 Champions League campaign (seven – two goals, five assists), also creating more chances than any other player at the club (38).

Wesley Sneijder
Sneijder was involved in more goals than any other Inter player during their successful 2009-10 Champions League campaign (nine – three goals, six assists), also creating more chances than any other player at the club (33). After leading Inter to the treble and Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2010, he somehow failed to make the Ballon d'Or top three.

Samuel Eto'o
Only Eden Hazard (14) scored more Premier League goals for Chelsea than Eto'o in Mourinho's first season back at Chelsea in 2013-14, with the Cameroon striker netting a hat-trick against reigning champions Manchester United.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic was top scorer in Serie A in Mourinho's first season with Inter, scoring 25 goals.

Eden Hazard believes it would only be fair to judge his time at Real Madrid at the end of next season.

The 29-year-old agreed a move to the Spanish capital last June after seven successful campaigns at Chelsea, during which time he won two Premier Leagues, a pair of Europa League titles and a PFA Players' Player of the Year award.

However, translating that success to his new club has proved challenging for Hazard, who scored only once across 10 LaLiga appearances before suffering an ankle injury last month that was likely to keep him out for the remainder of the season.

Hazard, who was sidelined between November and January with a similar problem, admitted it has hardly been a debut campaign to remember with Los Blancos, though he knows he has time to win the critics around.

"My first season in Madrid has been bad, but it's not all bad, it's a season of adaptation," he explained in an interview with RTBF.

"I'll be judged on my second season. It's a great group of players, I've met a lot of new people. It's been a great experience for me.

"I've still got four years left on my contract and I hope to be in form."

Though he only had the stitches in his ankle removed last week after undergoing surgery in Dallas, Hazard had expected to be available to represent Belgium at Euro 2020.

However, that tournament has been delayed for 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'd hoped to be fit [for the Euros] so it's a bit disappointing that they've been postponed," Hazard added.

"I'd planned to play, the operation was a few weeks ago now.

"We'll all be a year older in 2021, which is a shame, but it'll allow me to be in form.

"I think it's probably hard for the fans because they want to watch an international tournament every summer, so it's hard for them.

"But I also think that there are priorities in life that mean it had to be cancelled. Footballers are like everyone else at the end of the day. It'll wait until next year."

Eden Hazard has undergone successful surgery on his ankle at a facility in Dallas.

The Real Madrid star sustained a fracture to his right fibula in the 1-0 LaLiga defeat to Levante.

The 29-year-old was sent for an operation in the United States as, according to reports in Spain, it was felt that doctors with experience of treating similar injuries sustained by NBA stars would be best placed to offer a long-term fix.

Madrid confirmed on Thursday that Hazard's surgery went as planned, under the supervision of club doctors, and he will continue to be monitored before beginning his rehabilitation process.

Hazard, who has only made 15 appearances for Madrid since a €100million move from Chelsea as a result of injuries, met Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic after arriving in the USA.

He is expected to return to the Spanish capital in the coming days to continue his recovery.

It has been speculated Hazard is not likely to be fully fit for three months, although Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has expressed confidence the forward will play again for Madrid this season.

Raheem Sterling is fit to face Real Madrid on Wednesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

England star Sterling has missed City's past two matches with a hamstring problem but was recalled to the traveling squad for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Guardiola has lauded Sterling's powers of recovery, saying the player wanted to return to action earlier but was kept on the sidelines as a precaution.

"Raheem is fit," Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday. "His natural, physical condition, regeneration is amazing. He said to us, 'I could have played the West Ham game, the game against Leicester City'.

"The doctors told us to be careful. But it's a good sign. He's fit. He's ready."

One player who will not feature in the two legs is Eden Hazard, the Real Madrid winger having sustained an ankle fracture that could keep him out for much of the next two months.

Having seen the Belgium forward in action against his City side during his Chelsea career, Guardiola admits Hazard's absence is a blow to the occasion.

"It's very bad he's not here," Guardiola said. "I had the honour of enjoying, partly, and suffering him in England.

"When you see him loads you say, 'what a player'. I'm convinced Madrid made a wonderful signing. I wish he were here and I wish him the best recovery because he's a magnificent player."

Guardiola described it as "a pleasure" to return to the Santiago Bernabeu, where he competed both as a player and head coach of Barcelona and when in charge of Bayern Munich.

"It's one of the greatest places," he said. "As a player here, I won and I lost; as a coach, I won and I lost. To play the Champions League here is an honour. I have to enjoy it; it's all I can do."

Zinedine Zidane is unsure if Eden Hazard will play again this season but has justified Real Madrid's handling of the forward's ankle injury problems following his latest lay-off.

The Belgium international hobbled off in the second half of Madrid's 1-0 loss to Levante on Saturday and scans the following day confirmed he suffered a hairline fracture to his right ankle.

Madrid did not put a timeframe on his return, but it marked a huge blow ahead of this week's Champions League encounter with Manchester City and the Clasico clash with Barcelona.

And Zidane does not know if the 29-year-old - who had only just returned from a three-month absence with a similar issue - will be fit before the end of the campaign.

"I can't tell you. It is hard to say," he said at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's last-16 first leg with City.

"We don't know if he will be operated on, but he's obviously not happy. He had been out for almost three months and then played two games and picked up an injury.

"Obviously it is very bad news for him, but I can't tell you if he's going to be back before the season is over."

Madrid are reportedly deliberating over whether to operate on Hazard, who is set to miss more action for Los Blancos in his maiden campaign than he did in seven seasons with former side Chelsea.

However, Zidane insists it is not a straightforward call to make and is simply hoping to see a fully fit Hazard back in action sooner rather than later.

"I'm not the right person to tell you what should have been done and what shouldn't have," he said. "Obviously we are not happy about his injury. 

"It comes at bad moment and I feel bad for him because he wanted to play and help us and now he's out again. It is sad of course. 

"I just hope when he's back again he's absolutely fit. That's what he wants and what we want. But it's a tough moment for him.

"I can't tell you what I see in his eyes but I can tell you he's not happy. It's very important for him to stay positive but it is a bad moment for him. 

"It won't be easy and he will feel like that for some time. He loves being with us and helping us - that won't change - but knowing he can't play right now is very bad news for him."

Eden Hazard is set to miss Real Madrid's crucial clashes against Manchester City and Barcelona after suffering a hairline fracture to his right ankle.

The Belgium forward limped off in the second half of Los Blancos' 1-0 defeat to Levante on Saturday and received treatment for the injury on the bench.

Madrid have not said how much time Hazard will miss but reports in Spain suggest another long lay-off meaning the former Chelsea star will not face Manchester City in Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg tie, or Barca in a crucial Clasico in LaLiga next weekend.

A club statement read: "Following the tests carried out today [Sunday] on our player, Eden Hazard, by the Real Madrid medical department, he has been diagnosed with a fracture to his right distal fibula.

"His recovery will continue to be assessed."

It marks another blow for Hazard in a debut campaign blighted by injury, the 29-year-old having only returned from another fractured right ankle sustained against Paris Saint-Germain in November last weekend.

The start of Hazard's Madrid career was delayed by a hamstring problem he suffered in August and the timing of his latest setback could hardly have been worse.

Madrid's loss to Levante means they have ceded top spot in LaLiga to Barca ahead of the Clasico, while their fight for a 14th European crown restarts in a huge clash with Pep Guardiola's City.

Speaking after the game, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted the initial analysis of Hazard was not promising.

"It doesn't look good," Zidane told reporters at a news conference."It can become weak where you've had an injury. It is a blow, let's see.

"It's sore now but we'll see tomorrow when we do more tests."

Hazard has made just 15 appearances for Madrid since joining in a big-money move from Chelsea last July.

Eden Hazard is set to miss Real Madrid's crucial clashes against Manchester City and Barcelona after suffering a hairline fracture to his right ankle.

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