Hazard: Real Madrid and Chelsea negotiating transfer price
Despite the player's contract entering its final year, the English side are aiming to drive his value as high as possible, with Marina Granovskaia in the hotseat.
Real Madrid are at the negotiation table with Chelsea with the intention of finally closing the deal to take Eden Hazard to the Santiago Bernabéu. The Spanish giants already have an agreement in place with the player, and it's all about reaching an acceptable price with the Premier League club.
Mind the gap: Hazard price in play
Los Blancos' general director, José Ángel Sánchez, had already started the discussions but this week he will be in London to finalise the details with Marina Granovskaia, Roman Abramovich's so-called 'Iron Lady'. As we understand, the positions of each side are still not aligned as Chelsea look to raise 120 million euros from the sale. With the Belgian's contract entering its final year, Madrid have made it clear that they are unwilling to go above one hundred million. That is the financial gap they have their minds working on closing.
As we have been reporting for some time, the plan in Madrid is to rebuild a side that has struggled in LaLiga, and disappointed in Europe. Zinedine Zidane was brought back to the club with promises of revitalising the squad with some big name signings, and Hazard is a focal point of the new project. The idea is to accelerate discussions to facilitate an unveiling of the forward as soon as possible, with the initial date of Monday 3 June being delayed until immediately after the upcoming international fixtures. This would see Hazard freed up from Wednesday 12 June to be presented to the fans, and is the deadline Madrid are working towards.
With Madrid negotiators confident of lowering the price to their accepted range, they are also acutely aware of Marina Granovskaia playing hardball. What they have in their favour, however, is that the player has made his intentions to leave abundantly clear to the owner, Roman Abramovich. And while the plan is to agree a purely cash transaction, Los Blancos have not ruled out the possibility of using players as part of the operation. Everything is expected to be finalised after Sánchez's trip to London this week.
Appetites have clearly been whetted by the stories of Hazard joining Madrid which was evident in the UEFA meeting that took place in the Palace hotel on Sunday morning in the Spanish capital. Florentino Pérez was approached by several members of European football's governing body, with questions about the signing of the Belgian midfielder.