Chelsea have reportedly lowered the fee that they’re demanding to sell Real Madrid transfer target Eden Hazard this summer.
The 28-year-old has been in fine form again this season, scoring 19 goals and providing 12 assists in 44 appearances for the Blues.
With that in mind, the last thing that they’ll want is to see him leave, especially with their transfer ban still in place from FIFA which will prevent them from signing a replacement if the Belgian international leaves this summer.
However, with his contract set to expire in 2020, there is also the threat that he doesn’t sign a renewal and could leave for nothing in just over a year’s time, and so a departure this summer appears to be a genuine possibility.
According to AS, it’s suggested that after initially demanding €116m for Hazard, Chelsea are willing to drop their price-tag to between €103m-€105m, which is closer to the touted figure that Real Madrid are prepared to splash out which stands at around €90m.
Whether or not that’s enough of a reduction to convince Madrid to swoop remains to be seen, but it would appear as though Chelsea are seemingly accepting the fact that they will lose Hazard at the end of the season and will try to get as good a deal for themselves as possible.
A world-class talent in the final third is desperately needed for Real Madrid as they have struggled since losing former talisman Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.
Having scored over 100 goals in four of the last five seasons, they’ve managed just 56 in 32 league outings so far this year, and so signing a player of Hazard’s quality would be a huge boost.
AS also add that Chelsea will potentially look to Nicolas Pepe as a replacement, with the Lille ace said to be the subject of a possible €80m bid.
The 23-year-old has certainly impressed this season with 20 goals and 14 assists in 35 games, but much will of course depend on whether or not Chelsea can successfully appeal against their transfer ban to be able to sign anyone.
As noted by BBC Sport, they’ve already splashed out £58m on Christian Pulisic in a deal that was agreed in January before the ban came into place, and so combined with Pepe, it could be enough to fill the void Hazard leaves behind if he does move on.