Hazard recently suggested that he is ready to move on from Chelsea after moving to Stamford Bridge from Lille back in 2012, hinting that a move to Madrid is his preferred option.
“After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different,” he said in a remarkably open admission over his future.
“Certainly after this World Cup. I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision – if they want to let me go. You know my preferred destination.”
Hazard has been heavily linked with Real, particularly since Cristiano Ronaldo sealed a €100m exit to Juventus earlier this month, while Barça have also emerged on the scene more recently after primary target Antoine Griezmann chose to stay at Atletico Madrid.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea will ‘reject approaches’ from Real and Barça and are ‘confident’ that they can convince Hazard to stick around for the 2018/19 season.
The club is said to be planning for life with Hazard and the report expresses doubt as to whether Real in particular would be willing to meet Chelsea’s apparent valuation in excess of £200m.
Hazard has so far held off on signing a bumper contract extension and now has just two seasons left on his current deal, putting Chelsea in a potentially vulnerable position.
The Telegraph notes that should the 2016/17 Premier League champions steadfastly refuse to sell, Hazard would have to decide if he is ready to apply pressure from the inside to leave.