Real Madrid are growingly fearful that they will need to break their own transfer record to sign Eden Hazard from Chelsea, according to the Daily Mail.
Officials at the Bernabeu have started the groundwork with regards to a move for the 24-year-old, but a very long and winding road lies ahead if they are to bring him to La Liga.
Reports have suggested that Hazard is very much open to leaving Stamford Bridge if Real Madrid formalise their interest. His eagerness to quit Chelsea will only grow if Jose Mourinho remains in charge.
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But Real Madrid fear they will have to surpass the £86million they agreed to pay Tottenham for Gareth Bale in 2013 to convince Chelsea to part with the PFA Player of the Year.
Roman Abramovich would be reluctant to show weakness by allowing his club's most prominent star to leave, but the chance to claim as much as £90m with a single transfer would allow Mourinho – if he is still in charge – the chance to rebuild the squad.
There is also a chance that the Blues will wait to see if Hazard performs well at Euro 2016, where his Belgium team are amongst the favourites to win. An impressive competition for the diminutive playmaker will only increase his value further.
Having signed a five-and-a-half-year contract last season – worth £200,000-a-week – Chelsea are under absolutely no pressure to sell. Even Hazard's obvious discontent under Mourinho may not lower the price.
Mourinho, however, may be an easier man to convince. He has criticised Hazard for his lack of defensive contribution on several occasions since returning to power in 2013. The Special One even went as far dropping him and the there is a widespread belief that their relationship is fractured at best or, at worst, non-existent.