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REAL MADRID

Hazard: Real Madrid to focus on Belgian after ending Eriksen bid

Hazard: Real Madrid to focus on Belgian after ending Eriksen bid

GLYN KIRK

AFP

Real Madrid, who are also preparing potential Marcelo and Luka Modric replacements, are eager to build their side around the Chelsea star.

While Real Madrid remain focused on securing silverware this season - with the Copa del Rey and the Champions League the trophies particularly within reach - they are also busy preparing for the future, not least given the inconsistent nature of a 2018/19 campaign that has left Madridistas calling for major signings.

There are players who have been key to the trophy successes of recent years whose futures at Madrid are uncertain, such as Marcelo and Luka Modric. The left-back and the midfielder are attracting the interest of Serie A giants Juventus and Inter Milan, respectively, and top-quality replacements will have to be brought in for the pair if they end up leaving the Bernabéu at the end of the season.

Madrid want Hazard as new cornerstone of side

Aside from those concerns, however, Madrid chiefs' attention is above all centred on luring Chelsea's Eden Hazard this summer, with the European champions keen to re-build the side around the Belgium international. Now 28, Hazard is in his peak years as a player and is fresh from sparkling at the World Cup in Russia, where he was a key figure in his country's run to the semi-finals.

Hazard is out of contract at Chelsea in June 2020 and, so far, has not been persuaded to extend his commitment to the Premier League club. He is valued at 150m euros by the specialist website Transfermarkt.com but, given that he will - as things stand - be heading into the final year of his deal at Stamford Bridge this summer, Madrid would be reluctant to spend much more than 100m.

Pursuit of Tottenham's Eriksen now over

Hazard is now Madrid's main target after Los Blancos ended their interest in Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen. Like Hazard, Eriksen's contract expires in 2020, but Madrid have opted not to go after the Dane in a bid to avoid a transfer war with Spurs, a club they consider an ally after successfully doing business over Modric and Gareth Bale in the past.


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