Real Madrid set to rule out Eden Hazard move in favour of building team around Isco

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Isco is being touted as the man to lead Real Madrid in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era.

New Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui’s faith in Spanish playmaker Isco will likely see the club rule out a move for Chelsea‘s Eden Hazard, according to AS.

Given that Hazard could cost the club over €200million and plays in a position where Madrid are already well-stocked, the club are unlikely to act on their admiration for the player.

Instead, Lopetegui will give Isco more of a key role in the Madrid team, having built an excellent relationship with the playmaker during his time as the manager of the Spanish national team.

Indeed, Isco at times seemed more comfortable in the Spain set-up than at Madrid, with his comments after scoring a hat-trick in La Roja’s 6-1 win over Argentina this year a prime example.

“In the national team I’ve got the coach’s confidence, which maybe I haven’t managed to earn at Madrid,” Isco had said in March.

Former manager Zinedine Zidane had begun picking the 26-year-old more regularly in the months that followed, including handing him a starting berth in the Champions League final against Liverpool, but the faith Lopetegui has in the Andalusian will be a much bigger boost to Isco’s confidence.

Another reason Madrid have for choosing not to sign Hazard is the need to develop Marco Asensio. James Rodriguez was allowed to leave last summer in order to let the young Spaniard get more playing time and develop as a player, and the club hierarchy would prefer seeing Asensio build on the promise he showed at the beginning of last season.

Between their two young Spanish stars, Madrid believe they have enough stardust in their squad to make a move for Hazard ill-advised. Now, it’s up to the duo – and especially Isco – to repay their club’s faith.

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AC Milan set to offer Chelsea Pepe Reina as bait in pursuit of Tiemoue Bakayoko

David Cooper 28/07/2018
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Wanted man: Tiemoue Bakayoko.

AC Milan are set to offer experienced goalkeeper Pepe Reina plus substantial cash to Chelsea in a bid to sign midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

According to Tuttosport, the Serie A giants want the former Monaco ace to sure up their engine room next season and are willing to go to great lengths to make a deal happen.

Despite only bringing Reina to the San Siro in May from Napoli on a free transfer, Milan are prepared to let  the former Liverpool shot-stopper leave the club in part-exchange.

With speculation Thibaut Courtois will depart Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid, Chelsea could need a new goalkeeper, though the 35-year-old had not previously been on the radar.

Add in the fact that the Blues want to keep the French star for at least one more season, and this deal looks like a no-goer.

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Marko Grujic flattered by Cardiff interest as Liverpool future remains uncertain

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Marko Grujic was part of Serbia's squad at the World Cup.

Speaking to Sky SportsLiverpool midfielder Marko Grujic has revealed interest from Cardiff in his signature “means a lot”, given the Serbian helped the Bluebirds to Premier League promotion last term.

The 22-year-old spent the second-half of last season on loan at the Welsh side and has been linked with a permeant switch to Neil Warnock’s men.

Grujic, who was Jurgen Klopp’s first Anfield signing from Red Star Belgrade back in January 2016, has struggled to establish himself on Merseyside and first-team opportunities are also likely to be hard to come by this coming season.

Cardiff have yet to make an official offer for the World Cup star, however, Liverpool are thought to be happy to listen to bids.

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