Real Madrid are preparing their plan of action to try and sign Chelsea star Eden Hazard at the end of the season, and will use a similar strategy to their signing of Thibaut Courtois last summer.
Towards the end of his time at Stamford Bridge, Courtois refused to negotiate a new contract in an attempt to pursue a move to Real, and was eventually granted his request following the World Cup. Similarly, Hazard is yet to put pen to paper on fresh terms at Chelsea, and Real's interest in the Belgian has been well-documented for years.
Courtois was approaching the final year of his contract, forcing Chelsea to lower their asking price and do business with Real if they wanted to avoid losing the goalkeeper for free, and AS claim that Real are hoping for a similar turn of events with Hazard.
Once this season comes to a close, Hazard will have just one year remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge, meaning he would be just six months away from negotiating a free transfer away from the club. Given Hazard is one of the world's finest players, Chelsea will certainly be keen to avoid losing him for no compensation.
Chelsea have reportedly quoted Real a fee of around €112m if they want to sign Hazard, but the Spanish giants are reluctant to pay such a high amount for a player who they could sign for free just 12 months later.
Instead, Real are confident that Chelsea will have no choice but to lower their asking price. If Hazard has his heart set on Real, they are the only side who could possibly succeed in signing the winger, and they feel as though they have all the bargaining power in this situation.
If Chelsea lower their asking price to a reasonable amount, Real will pay. If the Blues refuse to do so, Real will simply wait and sign Hazard on a free transfer in 2020.
The transfer saga surrounding Hazard has taken another turn as it has been revealed that Chelsea have been handed a two-window transfer ban as a result of breaching FIFA's regulations on youth recruitment.
This ban means that, should Chelsea sell Hazard in the summer, they could be unable to replace the Belgian, regardless of the fee they potentially receive.