Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will become Real Madrid’s first choice target after they secure the signing of Eden Hazard from Chelsea.
The Blancos are preparing for a major squad overhaul this summer, with Zinedine Zidane set to be granted the funds he needs to rebuild the team after a disastrous 2018-19 season.
According to Marca, Madrid’s priority is sealing the transfer of Hazard, who has been heavily linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu for months, as they line up their next ‘Galactico’ signing.
Sky Sports reports that the European giants are confident of landing the Belgian for around £100 million when the transfer market reopens, despite the fact an impending transfer ban could prevent Chelsea from signing a suitable replacement.
Madrid are not planning to shut up shop if they succeed in luring Hazard to Spain, however, with their sights set to turn towards United’s Pogba thereafter.
Marca reports that Real could launch a bid for the €120 million-rated French star this summer – in a proposed deal which has been labelled ‘Operation Pogba’.
The 26-year-old has been a standout performer for the Red Devils this term and he is widely revered as one of the finest midfielders in European football.
Marca states that although Madrid are reluctant to be drawn into another transfer saga, Zidane is hoping to build his team around Pogba in the middle of the park, having praised his fellow countryman in an interview last week.
A per Marca, Zidane told a press conference: “I really like Pogba, I know him personally.
“He’s a different player, he brings a lot [to his team]. There are few [players] who contribute as much as he does.
“He knows how to defend, attack, and do everything on the pitch.”
The Red Devils are reluctant to lose their most prized asset, which is reflected in their valuation of Pogba, but Madrid are probably the only team in the world capable of pushing through this particular deal.
The prospect of Hazard and Pogba lining up together at the Bernabeu next season is a frightening one, although much could still depend on whether or not Chelsea decide to pull out all the stops to keep hold of their talismanic attacker.
If they are unable to sign any new players until 2020, Hazard could yet remain at Stamford Bridge for another year and in turn, Pogba’s proposed move to Madrid could take centre stage.