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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Real Madrid turn to Chelsea for Ronaldo replacement

Roberto Martinez has steered Belgium into the World Cup semi final, and with Eden Hazard in fine form at the tournament, Real Madrid have identified him as their plan B if Neymar’s move doesn’t materialise.

The Chelsea forward was instrumental in the victory over Brazil on Friday evening and stood out far more than the Canarinha’s star player.

Neymar has long been the great dream of Florentino Perez, and the former Barcelona star is seen as the next Galactico.

Los Blancos feel there is a chance a move could happen this summer.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s increasingly likely departure to Juventus opens up a space for Neymar to be the unrivalled star in the Spanish capital.

Persuading Paris Saint-Germain to part with their record signing after just one season will be difficult, and this is forcing them to look at alternative options.

At 27 years old, Hazard has the right blend of experience and years in front of him, and his performances on the biggest stages have shown that he could adjust to life at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

His attacking play from the left side would be welcome in Madrid, as would his skill and creativity.

Furthermore, he’s shown an ability to score goals, with Ronaldo’s departure leaving the team with a shortfall of 40 goals per season.

The former Lille playmaker has made no secret of his desire to move to Real Madrid, it’s his dream move and he and his representatives have done everything to try and make it happen.

Los Blancos and Perez have a history of signing the star of a World Cup too; Mesut Ozil arrived in 2010 and James Rodriguez was the target in 2014.

Russia’s showpiece has seen less individuals stand out than normal in the competition.

Neymar has already departed the tournament without making much of an impact, and this makes Hazard a much more attractive alternative.

“If I have a good World Cup then things will be easier,” the Belgian explained in an interview with L’Equipe before the tournament.

“Real Madrid interest me, everybody knows that, and if they don’t love me then they won’t talk about it.

“If they want to buy me then they know what they have to do.”

Chelsea’s own pre-season plans have been thrown into turmoil by the uncertainty created by Antonio Conte’s position as coach, something that has filtered through to the players.

Hazard’s own contractual situation is a concern with the Blues facing the possibility of losing him for nothing, something that the player’s father is aware of.

“Eden refused to extend his contract with Chelsea in order to help the interest of Real Madrid, he’d fit in well there,” he admitted to Le Soir.

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