Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has reportedly given the green light for the club to make a world-record bid to sign Chelsea star Eden Hazard.
The Belgian international has returned to form this season and has been a pivotal figure for Antonio Conte as Chelsea look to secure the Premier League title.
While the 26-year-old dropped another hint over the weekend that he will consider his future at the end of the season, his tallies of 14 goals and five assists in 30 league appearances this season have helped keep the Blues at the top of the pile.
However, while they come under pressure from Tottenham with the gap down to just four points now, Conte could be facing a fresh concern over losing Hazard this summer.
According to Diario Gol, Hazard is Madrid’s top target and Perez is ready to back Zinedine Zidane’s bid to sign him by becoming their most expensive signing ever with Chelsea said to be demanding €100m.
It’s said to be part of a long-term plan at the club as they accept that they must replace some of the older players in the squad sooner rather than later, although it remains to be seen who must be sacrificed in order for Hazard to arrive and play regularly.
The front three of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale has been set in stone depending on fitness, which means the likes of Alvaro Morata, Isco and James Rodriguez are likely to be the ones that suffer by falling further down the pecking order.
Whether Madrid sell them to fund the Hazard move remains to be seen as that would make financial sense, but it’s seems as though Chelsea will have to brace themselves for a big-money offer for their most prized asset this summer which presents Conte with a real headache.
Nevertheless, they will want to make that decision as Premier League champions, and so all the speculation will be seen as a distraction at this point.