As football legend Zinedine Zidane make a surprise come back, Real Madrid have made the first move in their bid to sign Eden Hazard.
Madrid will be approaching Chelsea about a summer deal, with the Belgian’s idol, Zinedine Zidane, making a spectacular return to the Bernabeu.
Real firmed up their interest in Hazard shortly before Zidane’s reappointment, on a contract until 2022, had been finalised. The decision to replace Santiago Solari with the Frenchman will only increase the Chelsea forward’s desire to go.
It is understood Real have made a proposal to Chelsea, who value Hazard at £100 million despite the fact he will only have 12 months left on his contract at the end of the season.
Hazard is expected to tell Chelsea he wants to join Real and has not given the London club any encouragement that he will sign the contract extension worth well over £300,000-a-week that has been on the table for months.
Fifa’s refusal to freeze Chelsea’s transfer ban during their appeal has complicated matters, but it has not altered Hazard’s desire to join Real this summer.
Chelsea still hope to eventually get their ban frozen through the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which would at least allow them to spend the money recouped for Hazard and sign another big star.
Despite him rescuing a point for Chelsea with a long-range equaliser against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, sources insist Hazard believes his time at Stamford Bridge is coming to an end.
He was particularly upset by the Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out defeat by Manchester City, in which he performed superbly, as he believed it was his final Wembley appearance for the club.
Real’s managerial situation had not been considered crucial to their pursuit of Hazard, but Zidane’s return is certainly a boost to the La Liga giants and another blow to Chelsea.
Zidane was Hazard’s hero as he grew up and the 28-year-old wore the World Cup winner’s name and number on the back of the France shirt he owned.
Real reappointed Zidane after their season collapsed inside a week. They were eliminated from the Champions League, and suffered two Clasico defeats by Barcelona, who knocked Real out of the Copa del Rey and left them 12 points adrift of the league leaders.
“Things will change, in every way, we have to change things for the years to come,” Zidane said, raising the prospect of a squad overhaul which could place Gareth Bale’s future in doubt.
The Welshman struggled for game-time towards the end of Zidane’s last spell in charge. “When the president called me, I could not tell him no,” Zidane added. “
When you have won a lot, sometimes you can have a dip, and this year it has been like that. We must look forward.”