Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is reportedly Barcelona’s primary target for this summer’s transfer window.
According to Juan Manuel Diaz of Sport, after Antoine Griezmann signed a new deal with Atletico Madrid, Barca are searching for an alternative attacking target to bolster their squad, and Hazard is the obvious, and potentially only, choice.
Diaz added Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen is also on Barca’s radar, but the Catalans believe Hazard to be a better player than the Dane and also a potentially easier signing given the current upheaval at Chelsea.
While Spurs have a fairly settled squad and stable manager, Chelsea look set to imminently replace Antonio Conte with Maurizio Sarri for their 10th managerial change in as many years, per Matt Law in the Telegraph.
Hazard, 27, further proved his immense talent as he starred for Belgium at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
They were knocked out in the semi-final by France on Tuesday, but even in that clash the former Lille star impressed, per Squawka:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Eden Hazard’s first-half against #FRA:
Passes attempted: 23
Passes completed: 23
Take-ons attempted: 6
Take-ons completed: 6
Mr. 100% . 💯 https://t.co/AxG4jB0BGh
Hazard could likely be tempted to move to the Camp Nou.
He has won two Premier League titles with Chelsea but faces the prospect of a campaign without UEFA Champions League football next term after the Blues finished fifth in the English top flight last season.
Barcelona, meanwhile, won La Liga at a canter in 2017-18 and will be among the favourites to win the Champions League in the coming season.
Per Diaz, Barca set aside €100 million (£88.5 million) for their pursuit of Griezmann that can now be put towards Hazard’s purchase, while the Belgian himself has not accepted the offer of a new deal from Chelsea.
His contract at Stamford Bridge runs to 2020, so Chelsea will hold a strong hand in any negotiations.
But, if Barcelona can tempt Hazard with the offer of trophies and Champions League football, they could well snap him up this summer if they are prepared to pay a big fee.