Reports: Barcelona prepare to hijack Real Madrid’s move for Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement
What’s the rumour?
Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus, Real Madrid have been linked with various top players capable of replacing the club legend. Names like Harry Kane, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have been thrown around keeping in mind Madrid’s tendency to sign big name players, also known as Galacticos.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has also been linked with a rumoured move to Real Madrid. However, latest reports claim that Los Blancos’ arch-rivals, Barcelona, have also entered the fray and might even make a move to hijack Madrid’s move for Hazard.
In case you didn’t know…
Hazard has stated his desire to join Real Madrid multiple times in the past. Former manager Zinedine Zidane has allegedly been his idol since a young age and the Belgian is keen on working under him.
Even after Zidane’s departure, Hazard had publicly stated that despite his absence, playing for Real Madrid would still remain a dream. Most people believed that Madrid would go all out for Hazard, who personally seemed to be leaning towards a move to Madrid this summer.
The heart of the matter
According to reports from Spanish news outlet Libertad Digital (via The Daily Express), Madrid have begun to cool their interest in Hazard owing to a reported change in transfer policies at the club. As per the same report, Real Madrid are not going to be signing a Galactico this summer.
Further, latest reports from Spanish radio station Onda Cero (via The Daily Mirror) claim that Barcelona could capitalise on these roadblocks and hijack the deal for Hazard by luring him to Catalonia instead.
The reports claim that Barcelona are plotting a player-plus-cash bid for the Belgian, with Ousmane Dembele being touted to be the makeweight. Despite joining Barcelona just last summer for a fee of £96.8 million, Dembele has struggled to establish himself owing to injury issues.
As a result, the 21-year-old could be on his way out this summer and Barcelona would benefit greatly if they can get Hazard in return, who will slot perfectly alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, making Barcelona’s attack rather formidable.
Hazard will clearly be a great addition to any side in the world.
The transfer window ends when the 2018-19 footballing season begins next month. With not long to go before the culmination of the window, we might just see a 3-way battle between Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the former fully intent on retaining the talented Belgian.