Real Madrid are plotting a sensational move for Eden Hazard should Cristiano Ronaldo decide to quit the club next summer, reports the Daily Star.
Ronaldo's future at the Bernabeu has been thrown into major doubt after it was revealed his agent, Jorge Mendes, has fallen out with Real Madrid officials. There is a belief that Florentino Perez will look to severe the club's ties with Ronaldo next summer if he tries to force an exit.
Heir to the throne
It appears that Perez is already planning for life without the Ballon d'Or winner and has drawn up a shortlist of potential replacements with Carlo Ancelotti. Chelsea's Hazard is reported to be top of that list.
Hazard has grown into one of the finest footballers in the world since his £32 million move to Chelsea in 2012. The Belgium international won the PFA Player of the Year award last season and has been tipped to contend for the Ballon d'Or in the future.
Real Madrid have been forced to consider replacements after becoming aware of a big rift between the player and club officials. It is believed Mendes is getting ready to force through a transfer next summer for his client with Manchester United best placed to sign him.
Ronaldo admitted his love for Manchester United earlier this week and said he hoped to return to Old Trafford one day in some capacity. As Louis van Gaal has superior financial strength compared to most clubs, the Red Devils may be the only team capable of meeting the asking price.
Similarly, it has been reported several times that Hazard is unhappy at Chelsea. The player has admitted his frustration with Jose Mourinho's tactics in the past and the relationship between the two is believed to be strained at best.
A move to PSG looked likely this summer, but Uefa's Financial Fair Player regulations prevented Laurent Blanc from making a bid. Chelsea seem prepared to sell Hazard, but will demand around £60 million.
Enough for Real Madrid?
No signing could claim to replace Ronaldo for Real Madrid fans. Letting the Portuguese legend leave would be nothing short of a PR nightmare, with Hazard only likely to soften the blow.
Although playing in similar roles, Hazard is unlikely to ever reach the incredible goal tally that Ronaldo has managed throughout his career. If Hazard was to become the latest Galactico, a new striker, more prolific than Karim Benzema, would certainly be required.