Coutinho: Real Madrid could play role in Barcelona departure
The Independent reports that Chelsea are preparing to target the Brazilian if Eden Hazard finally joins Real Madrid this summer.
Real Madrid are a club routinely linked with many of the world's top stars, but if there is one player they have above all been tipped to sign in recent times, it is Eden Hazard. The Chelsea forward, 28, has regularly professed his admiration for Los Blancos, particularly when they were coached by childhood idol Zinedine Zidane.
Hazard decision prompts talk of summer Real Madrid move
This week, Hazard revealed that he has made a decision on his future and, with no apparent progress in contract talks between the Belgium international and his current club, who are offering him 15.6m euros a year, speculation is rife that this could well mean he is heading to the Bernabéu at the end of the season.
The Independent explains that Madrid were not in a position to pay the 250m pounds that Chelsea were seeking for Hazard last year, but - given that he will be going into the final 12 months of a Blues deal that expires in June 2020 - the West Londoners may be willing to reduce their asking price to as low as 100m this summer.
Chelsea targeting Coutinho as Hazard replacement, says Indy
If the transfer does happen, the Independent adds, it could have the knock-on effect of seeing Philippe Coutinho leave Barcelona. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to be eyeing the Brazilian as Hazard's replacement - although Barça president Josep María Bartomeu has in recent days insisted that the club have no plans to sell Coutinho, despite the 160m-euro signing's disappointing displays this term.
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