Real Madrid are preparing to launch a huge bid for Chelsea star Eden Hazard, reports the Daily Star.
The Belgian has been a standout performer in the Premier League over the last 18 months and is one of the main reasons Chelsea currently sit top of the table. Those performances, which saw him win PFA Young Player of the Year last season, have not gone unnoticed by Real Madrid.
Club president Florentino Perez is looking for his next big signing after landing James Rodriguez last summer and Gareth Bale the year before that. Hazard is considered one of the best young players in the world and has been tipped to win Ballon d'Or in the future.
A bid of £70 million has been mentioned in the same report, which is likely to tempt Jose Mourinho into considering a sale. Hazard is one of the best players at Chelsea, but Uefa's financial fair play regulations make cashing in an attractive proposition.
Financial fair play
The money would allow Mourinho to reinvest in different areas on the squad, but the sale of Hazard is unlikely to be popular amongst the fans at Stamford Bridge. The 23-year-old has become a firm favourites in the terraces since joining from Lille in 2012.
Real Madrid's reported offer for Hazard is likely to be rejected by Chelsea but it could throw a spanner in the works with regards to the player's new deal at the club.
Hazard has reportedly agreed a contract in principle worth a staggering £200,000-a-week. The new deal would keep him in west London until 2019 but remains unsigned, or at least unconfirmed.
Mourinho has admitted he is confident that the deal will be announced in due course but a late bid from Real Madrid could force Hazard into considering his options.
The Chelsea boss said recently: "I was never worried about it [contract talks], since the moment I met his father. Everything was very clear about their intentions and their happiness to stay with Chelsea."
The chance to join the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale will be a tempting proposition for the Belgian with Los Blancos representing the best chance to win major silverware in Europe.
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