Chelsea may not try to sign a direct Eden Hazard replacement from Real Madrid, but hope to land defender Raphael Varane as part of any transfer.
CaughtOffside understands the Blues are drawing up a list of defensive targets for the summer, with manager Maurizio Sarri understandably keen to bring in an upgrade on David Luiz, while Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill have not had much of a look-in this season.
And among Chelsea’s targets is Varane, who is undoubtedly one of the fines centre-backs in Europe and who could be absolutely ideal to help the west London giants move forward and become more serious title contenders next season.
The Daily Mirror were among the outlets this week to talk up Hazard’s move to Real Madrid this summer, stating the Spanish giants were confident of signing the Belgium international for around £100million.
CaughtOffside understands Los Blancos are reluctant to pay quite that much for a player in the final year of his contract, though they could try to help things through by offering a player in exchange.
Of course, Mateo Kovacic is currently on loan at Chelsea from Real, and has been talked up by the Sun as being ‘likely’ to make his move to Stamford Bridge permanent as a result of the Hazard deal.
Chelsea, however, may want to explore other options, with Varane a tempting one due to both his talent and recent struggles at the Bernabeu making an exit more likely.
Spanish source Don Balon recently claimed the France international was eager to leave the club due to being unhappy under current manager Santiago Solari.
Meanwhile, another Spanish outlet Diario Gol even claimed earlier this season that Varane had a verbal agreement of sorts with Manchester United, while his asking price was likely to be around £86m.
If Chelsea could land themselves such a top talent and beat a major title rival to one of their targets in the process, that would actually end up being a pretty positive outcome considering Hazard’s departure.
United also urgently need to strengthen in defence this summer, but may have to look elsewhere if Chelsea’s Hazard situation now means they hold an advantage in this potential deal. Luckily for them, the Evening Standard claim another big-name target in Kalidou Koulibaly is keen on the move from Napoli.