Reports suggest that Chelsea star Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid will be made official in the next few days. He will be joining Rodrygo and Eder Militao as the first few arrivals at Madrid in the summer.
The transfer fee is believed to be close to €100 million according to Marca.
Chelsea halved their asking value from last year mainly due to the improvement in the relationship between the two clubs thanks to Mateo Kovacic’s transfer and the fact that Hazard is on the final year of his contract.
The winger has always spoken in admiration of Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and never shied away from admitting his desire to play under him.
The Frenchman too has always been a huge admirer of Hazard. In fact, he even urged Madrid president Florentino Perez to sign the Belgian during his time at Lille.
While Perez decided against it at that point of time, a marquee signing is the need of the hour now, with Madrid suffering one of their worst seasons in recent times.
Napoli’s Europa League exit following Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal brought renewed questions over the future of star centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, but the player refused to discuss a potential summer move in the aftermath of the game.
Arsenal’s poor away from was another reason for the hosts to fancy their chances of overturning the deficit and qualifying for the semi-finals, but instead they fell to a stunning Alexandre Lacazette free-kick and some wasteful play from their own attack to suffer European disappointment yet again.
This was the eighth straight season Napoli had been in European football, a run that began with them making their first-ever Champions League appearance in 2011, yet in that eight-season spell this was only the second time they had even reached the quarter-finals of either of Europe’s competitions, having made the Europa League semi-finals in 2015.
The Partenopei’s inability to get over the hump either in Europe or domestically, where they are set to finish second behind Juventus for a third consecutive season and for the fourth time in five years, has led to predictions that they could lose some of their star players.
In the aftermath of the loss, however, Koulibaly rejected suggestions that he could be done with Napoli or the Serie A, having moved to Italy in 2014 to join the Naples club from Belgian side Genk.
“Why? I grew up in this league. It’s the league that made me the player I am today,” Koulibaly said to reporters after the game.
The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to Manchester United, among others, and Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti was forced to declare the defender “non-transferable” in the build-up to Thursday’s game – though he also seemingly named a price for United and other suitors to meet, adding that Koulibaly was worth €150million.
For his part, however, the Senegal international brushed aside any questions over his future.
“To me what matters most is to finish the season well, then we’ll see,” Koulibaly insisted.
“I am sorry because we wanted to go through.”
Real Madrid expect to make their €100 million move for Chelsea winger Eden Hazard official in the coming days, according to reports.
Hazard, 28, has declined to renew a contract that expires next summer and made clear his desire to swap Santiago Bernabeu for Stamford Bridge after seven years in the Premier League. Rehired boss Zinedine Zidane is a firm admirer of the Belgium international’s talent, with president Florentino Perez also happy to fund a move.
Marca have declared that an announcement should soon be made to make him the club’s third summer signing, along with Porto centre-back Eder Militao and Santos prospect Rodrygo. Not even Chelsea’s transfer ban, which they’ve appealed, has stopped the switch, plus they’ve already landed replacement Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund.
Zidane remains a firm fan of Paul Pogba, but Manchester United’s reluctance to do business for anything less than €150m is proving a major obstacle despite the France midfielder’s wishes.
Interest remains in Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, while Ajax’s Donny van de Been is an emerging target.