According to Jeremy Cross in the Daily Star, the Red Devils are planning a £65 million summer swoop for the Belgian with a source explaining that Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are now seen as unrealistic targets:
The club has to be realistic and realise that signing Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo remains a long shot, which means alternative targets come into the equation. Eden Hazard is certainly one of those and the type of player United need if they want to start winning trophies again.
Cross' report indicated United's executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, has been given the go-ahead from the club's owners to offer Hazard a deal worth £250,000 a week, with Real refusing to do business over Bale following last summer's transfer debacle surrounding David De Gea.
The Telegraph's Paul Hayward also outlined a number of other reasons why United are unlikely to be able to sign Bale, noting the recent appointment of Zinedine Zidane as manager could be a major factor:
Paul Hayward @_PaulHayward
Gareth Bale synopsis. 1. Real not selling. 2. Man Utd in flux and not attractive. 3. He's in no rush to go anywhere. 4. Has new boss. Ends.2016-1-7 09:59:49
Indeed, Bleacher Report's Dean Jones recently insisted a move to Old Trafford in the near future seemed very unlikely:
However, it also seems highly unlikely United will be able to snap up Hazard given Chelsea will be loath to sell one of their star players to a direct Premier League rival—although they did sell Juan Mata to the Red Devils back in January 2014.
The 25-year-old has had a torrid time of it in the 2015-16 season. He has not scored a single goal for the Blues this term and is cutting an ever more frustrated figure on the pitch, per WhoScored.com.
He has been linked with a move to a number of different clubs, including Real, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, and he has reportedly "made up his mind to leave Chelsea," per Kieran Gill in the Daily Mail.
However, given the managerial situation at Chelsea, there is surely no guarantee Hazard will depart in the summer.
Per BBC Sport, the 2014-15 Premier League Player of the Season reportedly fell out with Jose Mourinho earlier this term.
But the Portuguese manager has now departed the club, and with Guus Hiddink only filling an interim role, whoever is appointed as the Blues' next permanent manager could have a big say in whether Hazard stays.
Even if he does eventually depart, a move to one of the bigger clubs on the continent seems far more likely than signing for United.