Paris Saint-Germain are hoping to take advantage of the ongoing crisis at Chelsea by launching a huge transfer bid for Eden Hazard, possibly in excess of £80million, reports the Daily Mail.
The Ligue 1 club have been long-term admirers of the Belgium international and the player himself is revered in French football as if he is one of their own. He came through the youth system at Lille and considers France a home away from home.
He has now outgrown the docile competition that Ligue 1 offers, but PSG have emerged as a genuine European force since being revolutionised by Qatar's billions. Their owners have invested a chunk of their huge fortune into the squad, bringing names like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani to Parc des Princes.
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And with Financial Fair Play now basically redundant, PSG are ready to throw their financial power into next summer's transfer window. They have been linked with a huge bid for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, but Hazard remains one of their prime targets.
Real Madrid, ironically, see Hazard as the ideal replacement if Ronaldo leaves and represent the main competition in the race for the winger's signature. The presence of Zinedine Zidane – one of Hazard's icons – at the Bernabeu may put them in pole position.
But PSG believe the bridges built with Chelsea over previous summers will aid them in their attempts to sign the 24-year-old. They agreed to pay a generous £50million to sign David Luiz in 2014 and could be prepared to pay close to a world-record fee for Hazard.
Chelsea will be reluctant to lose a man they handed a five-and-a-half year contract just six months ago. He is also their biggest star from a commercial point of view and the hope was that he would become a global icon whilst at the club.
But his motivation appears to be at an all-time low. The relationship between Hazard and Jose Mourinho is rumoured to be strained to breaking point and, if the Special One remains in charge at Stamford Bridge, it could convince the player to seek a move.