Manchester City have identified Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard as their number one summer target, Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror reports.
City refused to meet the £400,000-plus per week wage demands of Alexis Sanchez this month and will target another elite attacker in the summer as an alternative, with former target Hazard reportedly emerging as the leading candidate.
The Blues would be willing to shell out a record fee of £150million for the 27-year-old, who has been one of the Premier League’s best attacking midfielders in the past five years, and believe Hazard would represent better value than Alexis Sanchez.
The Belgian’s current contract expires in 2020 and he has yet to pen a new deal, with Real Madrid viewing him as their next big ‘Galactico’ recruit.
According to Mullock, City believe the presence of Pep Guardiola could lead to Hazard snubbing Real Madrid in favour of a move to City, the club he considered joining in 2012 before deciding on a move to Chelsea.
If City get deals for Aymeric Laporte and Fred over the line in January, much of their summer budget will be allocated to the acquisition of an elite attacker, and signing Hazard would be a major statement of intent.
Chelsea would be very much against selling Hazard and City are only likely to make a move if his contract deadlock isn’t resolved before the summer, at which point City would be willing to shatter the British transfer record.
Were Hazard to move to the Etihad, he could expect similar wages to Kevin De Bruyne, his Belgian teammate who he would link up with in a terrifying City attack.
Ohh Kevin De Bruyne! KDB is staying at Man City until 2023 – to celebrate the City Store have released a new KDB Initial T-Shirt!