Manchester United look to have been given the green light to follow through on their long-running interest in sealing the Eden Hazard transfer from Chelsea.
According to Marca, the Belgium international has refused five times to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge and plans to run down his current deal, which expires at the end of next season.
MORE: Manchester United intensify transfer talks ahead of potential £35million bid for treble winner
Real Madrid look the favourites for Hazard at the moment with most renowned bookies, but there may well be a big opportunity for United to nip in for the 27-year-old in the near future.
If, as Marca claim, Hazard is dead set on not renewing with Chelsea, the Blues will be forced to accept a reduced bid for him either this January or in the summer, meaning United could sign him for significantly less than his £150million asking price of recent months.
They may even be able to snap him up on a free in 2020 if a sale cannot be agreed, meaning it’s anyone’s guess where the player ends up.
Don Balon recently claimed Zinedine Zidane was keen on signing Hazard if he became United boss, as is being widely reported that he could.
The Frenchman has spoken publicly of his admiration of the former Lille star in the past, while the player has also spoken of the coach as an ‘idol’.
Hazard has also been linked as a target for his old manager Mourinho in the past as well, having been a key player for the Portuguese during his time in charge at Chelsea.
While things didn’t exactly end brilliantly between the pair, Mourinho has shown a willingness to repair relationships with former players he’s fallen out with.
Despite axing Juan Mata during his time as Chelsea manager, the 55-year-old has worked well with the Spanish playmaker when reunited with him at United again in 2016.
Mourinho also notably fell out with Nemanja Matic towards the end of his time at Stamford Bridge, when he humiliated the Serbian by subbing him off in a game in which he’d already initially subbed him on from the bench.
However, he then ended up signing the 30-year-old for the Red Devils last summer, and he’s been one of his most important players at the Theatre of Dreams.
Hazard and Mourinho are both professionals and winners and could surely strike the right kind of balance again at United if such an opportunity came along.
Of course, it may be that the lure of a move to Real Madrid ultimately proves too strong for Hazard, though of course the Zidane factor is an important one too.
MUFC may well be close to making a change in the dugout after a poor start to this season and Zidane would surely jump at the chance to sign one of his favourite players if he got the job.
There’s no question the Blues attacker would be a significant upgrade on the out-of-form Alexis Sanchez, who has been a major flop since his January transfer window switch from Arsenal, as well as for inconsistent youngsters Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.