Chelsea have told Real Madrid they will not be bullied into selling Eden Hazard – even for £170million.
The brilliant Belgian is on Real’s wishlist and it is understood that the Spanish giants are willing to pay the second biggest fee in transfer history to land their man.
But the Blues do not want to lose the playmaker and are adamant that, given he still has two years to run on his contract, they will not be forced into a deal.
New boss Maurizio Sarri said: “He’s one of the top European players. I hope I can improve him but this will be difficult because he has reached a very high level.”
But following Belgium’s third-place play-off victory over England at the World Cup, Hazard suggested he was ready for a new challenge after six years in south-west London.
And his ‘people know my preferred destination’ comment was widely interpreted as a flirtation with Real.
But Chelsea believe that a new deal worth around £300,000 a week will be enough to keep the 27-year-old at Stamford Bridge and plan to talk to him about the situation when he returns from his holiday in a couple of weeks’ time.