Manchester City is ready to launch a stunning move for Chelsea star Eden Hazard, reports say.
Pep Guardiola confirmed this week that City would only look to sign ‘one or two’ players during the summer transfer window and said the club was not in a position to spend ‘another £300m’ on signings.
A winger who can also operate through the middle is believed to be a priority for the City manager, who committed his future to the club this week by signing a new deal.
Hazard, who has won the Premier League twice at Chelsea, fits the bill and has suggested he could leave if the Blues do not make the right signings in the summer.
The Belgium superstar is believed to have a strained relationship with Antonio Conte and could look to move even if the Italian departs as expected.
Real Madrid has been long-term admirers of Hazard but The Sun says Manchester City will rival the Spanish giants for his signature this summer.
It is claimed the new Premier League champions would not hesitate to launch a £100m-plus bid if given an indication that a deal could be possible.
The city would also have no issue giving Hazard, a player Guardiola was reportedly first attracted to at Bayern Munich, a huge pay rise. Discussing his plans for the summer transfer window this week, Guardiola told Sky Sports:
‘Yaya [Toure] is leaving so we have to replace him, and maybe another one. ‘One or two more, no more. We cannot invest…maybe people don’t believe me but we don’t have the money to invest £300m every season.’
Napoli to demand world record fee for Arsenal and Chelsea target Kalidou Koulibaly
Napoli will demand a world record fee for their in-demand centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegal international played a key role in his side’s challenge for the Serie A title last season and has regularly been linked with a move to Chelsea.
Napoli remains steadfast in their determination to keep hold of the 26-year-old, and according to RAI Sport, will only sanction his departure if they receive a bid in the region of €120m.
Liverpool paid €86m to Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in January, making him the most expensive centre-half in the world, while Manchester City has paid £50m or for a defender three times since last summer.
Regardless of Antonio Conte’s future, Chelsea’s defence is in need of strengthening in the summer with David Luiz having been frozen out and Gary Cahill set to turn 33 in December.
Arsenal, meanwhile, were last week linked with a move for Koulibaly although it is highly doubtful the Gunners would have the funds available to finance a possible transfer.
The Gunners will be without Laurent Koscielny until December following his Achilles injury and are considering moves for Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Freiburg’s Calgary Soyuncu.