Real Madrid have agreed a deal in principle for Chelsea forward Eden Hazard worth £88m plus significant add-ons.
It is understood Chelsea were demanding a fee in the region of £130m.
Hazard, who has one year left on his Chelsea contract, said it was his wish to leave Stamford Bridge after scoring twice to beat Arsenal 4-1 in the the Europa League final.
“I think it is goodbye, but in football you never know,” the 28-year-old said after the final whistle in Baku.
Chelsea might not be able to sign a replacement due to a two-window transfer ban imposed by FIFA after an investigation into the club’s signing of foreign U18 players.
Zinedine Zidane is looking to rebuild his Real squad after a dismal season which saw them eliminated from the Champions League at the last-16 stage and finish third in La Liga – a record 19 points behind Barcelona, who knocked them out in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey.
They have already signed centre-back Eder Militao from Porto as well as striker Luka Jovic from Frankfurt.
Hazard’s stunning stats
Hazard was the dominant force behind Chelsea’s surge to secure a Champions League spot.
He enjoyed his most productive season in English football in 2018/19 with 16 goals and 15 assists – and was top of the Premier League player rankings in several categories.
Can Hazard become best in the world?
Youri Tielemans, who spent the season on loan at Leicester, is with Hazard and the rest of the Belgium squad preparing for European Qualifiers against Kazakhstan (Saturday) and Scotland (Tuesday).
The midfielder says speculation on Hazard’s future has had no impact on the 28-year-old’s attitude and has backed him to take a step up once he finalises his move to the Bernabeu.
Tielemans: “Playing with him is fantastic when you give him the ball you look at him and say wow. It’s really easy to play with him. He also does his best on the pitch and tries to enjoy when he’s on the pitch.
“He is always relaxed. There’s no change in his attitude [this week].
“He is one of the best players in the world at the moment. Why can’t he become the best at Real? I think if he wants to he can be.
Hazard ‘happy and relieved’ deal agreed
Hazard’s future has been in the spotlight since he suggested he was keen to leave after last summer’s World Cup and, according to Sky Sports‘ Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero, he was pleased by the news of an agreement.
Montero told Sky Sports News: “This morning we’ve discovered that the player, who is in Belgium right now preparing for two games against Kazakhstan and Scotland, was happy and relieved because he realised that Real Madrid and Chelsea have agreed a deal.”
He added: “It is said that he’s going to play on the right wing… but if Zidane changes formation, maybe next season he’s not going to play 4-3-3 but 4-4-2, and in that moment Hazard will play as a No 10 or maybe as a No 8, but especially on the right wing of Real Madrid’s attack.”
Source: Sky Sports