Real Madrid Reportedly Ready £150M Eden Hazard Bid After Cristiano Ronaldo Exit

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Eden Hazard of Chelsea during The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Real Madrid's efforts to replace Cristiano Ronaldo are set to escalate following reports the club is ready to offer £150 million for Chelsea winger Eden Hazard

Ronaldo was sold to Juventus in a £100 million move that became official on Tuesday, and the Daily Mail's Matt Barlow wrote that Real are ready with a nine-figure offer of their own to sign Hazard.

Hazard would become the third-most expensive player of all time if he were to complete a £150 million departure from Chelsea. The only other more lucrative deals would be those completed by Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

However, interest in Hazard has emerged from the Camp Nou, per Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur:

Kristof Terreur 📰 @HLNinEngeland

There have been contacts between Barcelona and Eden Hazard, but no negotiations - a very expensive operation that they can’t afford at the moment. Real Madrid haven’t made an offer either. Chelsea not willing to sell him. #cfc #worldcup #bel https://t.co/1Mpccg0IrM

Hazard recently impressed for Belgium at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and led his country on a run to the tournament's semi-finals, where they were knocked out following a 1-0 defeat to France.

Despite the defeat, Hazard illustrated his talent and was the best player on the pitch, at least according to WhoScored.com stats:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

With a WhoScored rating of 8.40 against France, #BEL winger @hazardeden10 is our top-rated player from the #WorldCup semi-finals https://t.co/BINmTx7nUa https://t.co/vFKomy9AH9

Ronaldo's move to Turin has created a vacuum in Real's attack that demands being filled by a star of similar magnitude, or as close to one can get to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Los Blancos icon Michel Salgado said the Portuguese star is an irreplaceable asset and refused to be drawn on who out of Hazard or PSG star Neymar would make for the better replacement:

Omnisport @OmnisportNews

Neymar or Eden Hazard? Michel Salgado said he'd like one of them at #RealMadrid, but warned that Cristiano Ronaldo was irreplaceable for the #LaLiga giants. https://t.co/AZ9GCDXTbG

According to Barlow, Hazard has so far refused to put pen to paper on the £300,000-per-week deal Chelsea are said to have offered him, and the player wants to see new signings arrive before he commits.

But it's been a muddled summer for the club thus far. Chelsea confirmed they had parted ways with manager Antonio Conte on Friday, with former Napoli chief Maurizio Sarri expected to take over as his replacement, per the Guardian's Paolo Bandini.

The south-west London club is therefore making up for lost time in this summer's transfer market, and with only a month until the Premier League season begins, Hazard is unlikely to have been encouraged by the delays.

Hazard has two years left to run on his contract, giving the club some security in this summer's market, although the opportunity to jump ship for Real may be too strong for the Belgian if the offer is made official.