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Manchester City would fall short even if a world-record £200-million offer was lodged for Eden Hazard, reports The Telegraph’s Matt Law.
Chelsea may be unable to resist the overtures of Real Madrid if the Spanish giant submitted its own huge offer, but will not entertain the Belgian marvel joining a Premier League rival. Stories surfaced over the weekend that City was eyeing Hazard after its January move for Alexis Sanchez collapsed, allowing him to join hated rival Manchester United instead.
City’s interest may have piqued further when Leroy Sane suffered ankle ligament damage in Sunday’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Cardiff City.
The Blues want to extend Hazard’s stay at Stamford Bridge and are willing to offer him a salary worth in excess of £300,000 a week to ward off Real Madrid and Manchester City. The 27-year-old isn’t in a rush to ink fresh terms, though, despite goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – another player linked to Real Madrid – encouraging his compatriot to sign for a longer stay at the same time as him. Hazard is contracted in west London until 2020.
It’s understood Hazard is willing to wait and see how things develop at Chelsea before reaching a decision on his future. Antonio Conte is expected to depart the club at the end of the season, with ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique touted to succeed him as manager. There are also changes afoot in the next couple of days, including an anticipated capture of Roma wing-back Emerson Palmieri.
But the anticipated overhaul at Real Madrid could be too much for Hazard to ignore. He is an admirer of under-pressure manager Zinedine Zidane – if the Frenchman is given the boot, it could damage Real Madrid’s chances of capturing Hazard – and could be the natural inheritor of Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne. At 32, the chiselled Madeiran is on course for his worst league goalscoring return since he joined the club in 2009, and Hazard, who is in his prime, would offer a sharp-tongued retort to Barcelona’s box-office buys of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele this season.
Hazard began the 2017-18 campaign shaking off the effects of ankle surgery, but has contributed 11 goals and four assists across Premier League and Champions League play.