In Brief

Chelsea transfer news: Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale to swap?

Real Madrid are confident of signing Belgium ace Hazard and could offer Wales star Bale as part of a deal

As Chelsea prepare to face Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday night there are more unwanted rumours concerning the future of playmaker Eden Hazard.

According to the Daily Mail Real Madrid are “increasingly confident” that they will sign the Belgian ace in the summer.

The paper claims that the Bernabeu board are waiting on Chelsea to name their price but they intend to haggle the Blues down to below £100m regardless of their valuation. 

Three out of four

Quoting Spanish sports newspaper AS, the Mail says that three of the four parties concerned - Hazard, Real and Los Blancos head coach Zinedine Zidane - are all “fully agreed on the deal”.

All that remains is for Chelsea to cave in to the pressure they face, and it’s expected that will happen with the west London club painfully aware they could lose the 28-year-old on a free transfer at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Miserly Madrid

Chelsea are believed to want £100m for Hazard but AS declares that Real “have no intention of shelling out a nine-figure sum on a player whose contract expires in the summer of 2020”.

What would they prefer to pay? The Mail says they will settle on a figure between €80m [£69m] and €90m [£78m].

It’s not the first time that the two clubs have engaged in a financial arm-wrestle over a player. The Spaniards squeezed a deal out of the Blues last summer for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. In that instance the Belgian gloveman made no secret of his wish to relocate to La Liga.

Contract rebel?

TalkSPORT claims that Hazard “will refuse to sign a new contract” even if Chelsea do knock back Real’s advances.

Apparently the Belgian is determined to move to Spain to play under Zidane and there could be a confrontation looming if Chelsea don’t grant his wish.

TalkSPORT says that he won’t sign a new contract “even if the club threaten to keep him for the remainder of his deal”. But the broadcaster expects the Blues to do business with Real rather than see him leave for nothing in 2020.

Goal.com reports that Hazard “has his heart set on a move to Real” and Chelsea are “powerless” to stop their star man from leaving. It’s understood that Hazard feels this is a “now or never moment” in his dream to play for Real.

Bale to the Bridge?

Meanwhile the Spanish press suggest that Real Madrid might look to offer Gareth Bale as a sweetener to Chelsea.

WalesOnline says that Bale “could be set for the exit” in the summer. A move to Manchester United is unlikely given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s intention to only sign youngsters, and so Chelsea is the favourite destination for the Welshman.

Asked about the rumours, Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, said: “I can’t predict the future but for now he is happy.”

AS says that Real will let Bale pick his next club. As well as United and Chelsea, German giants Bayern Munich have also been linked with the 29-year-old.

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