Real Madrid prepares an opening offer to Chelsea for Eden Hazard, while Cesc Fabregas urges the Blues to resist and keep hold of their star man.
The Belgium international's links to the Spanish giants have increased exponentially following the end of his World Cup duties, having been identified as one of Real's top targets following Cristiano Ronaldo's €100m move to Juventus.
Hazard, himself, indicated after Belgium's third-place playoff victory that his future at Stamford Bridge could be coming to a close, as he said, via the Evening Standard: “After six wonderful years at Chelsea, it might be time to discover something different. You know my preferred destination.”
The 27-year-old has made no secret of his desire to one day play for Real Madrid, and with moves for Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar or Kylian Mbappe proving difficult, Hazard has emerged as the next man on the Spanish side's wish list.
Chelsea, however, value Hazard at a minimum of £200m and remain hopeful of convincing him to sign a new contract with the club, where he has two-years remaining on his current deal.
The Blues are said to be 'very relaxed' about the situation as they feel as though the ball is in their court with Hazard unlikely to force a move away, unlike their situation with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who has just a year remaining on his deal at Stamford Bridge.
The Premier League outfit is resigned to losing their shot stopper as Real Madrid is confident of completing a £35.5m deal.
With Hazard's situation less clear, Fabregas has admitted to seeking contact with the star winger as he encouraged the Blues to do what they can to keep him in London beyond the summer.
“I won't lie, I speak to him often,” said Fabregas, via the Telegraph.
“He is the best player at the club and we need at Chelsea to keep the best players. He knows the fans love him and he’s a player we love to play with. For sure, we want him to stay.”
Chelsea's new boss Maurizio Sarri is expected to wait until Hazard returns from his summer break on August 6 before speaking directly to his player.