Real Madrid are reportedly ready to give Eden Hazard Cristiano Ronaldo’s number 7 shirt if he completes a transfer from Chelsea this summer.
The Belgium international is fast becoming Florentino Perez’s preferred target to replace Ronaldo, who looks set for a move to Juventus.
So much so, that Diario Gol report that this has led Real to plan to give Hazard the number 7 if he does end up sealing a switch to the Bernabeu.
This would be quite a statement of faith by the Spanish giants in the Blues forward, who would be under enormous pressure to come in and replace such a legendary figure at the club.
Ronaldo has been a phenomenal servant to Madrid since arriving from Manchester United all the way back in 2009, winning four Champions League titles with the club and becoming their all-time leading scorer with 450 goals in 438 appearances.
The 7 shirt was also worn by legendary striker Raul at Real Madrid, so it’s a sign of how highly Los Blancos rate Hazard if they do give it to him after Ronaldo.
Marca are among the sources tipping the 33-year-old to now move to Juventus, and while many fans would be happy with Hazard as their new 7, he is certainly not a like-for-like replacement.
The 27-year-old is a classy creative player, but has never been anywhere near as prolific a scorer, though that could change if he’s given a slightly different role at Real, who also play in an arguably less competitive league in La Liga.
This would be a huge blow for Chelsea after missing out on Champions League football last season, with Hazard the kind of player they need to be keeping hold of if they are to move forward, while attracting replacements could also be tricky due to their involvement in the Europa League rather than Europe’s top club competition.