Los Blancos, who made Solari their permanent manager till 2021 after Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal, are expected to strengthen come New Year
Eden Hazard remains a long-term target, but a deal to bring him to the Bernabeu in January looks increasingly unlikely. The Blues are doing extremely well in the Premier League, and Hazard has found a new lease of life under new manager Maurizio Sarri. As per Spanish news outlet OK Diario, Real Madrid are now looking at other options.
It’s being reported that Solari is eyeing Espanyol youngster Marc Roca, who looks set for big finally things. And he may decide to finally end his club’s interest in Hazard. Real bigwigs reportedly met with with their counterparts from Barcelona-based outfit Espanyol during the last game between the two sides. Roca is contracted to Espanyol until 2022, and despite his young age, he won’t be a budget option, as the playmaker has a £35m release clause.
Real may be drifting away from any potential move for Hazard, but Blues legend Dennis Wise feels a departure is inevitable at some point. “He’s obviously an ambitious guy and if he wants to be a top top world-class player then he probably needs to go on and win lots of different things,” Wise told Express Sport.
“You’ve got Barcelona and Real Madrid — those are where top players want to end up. But at the moment it’s important that we’ve still got him at Chelsea and I think he loves the place. I’m sure in time he’ll make his decision about what’s best for him. At the end of the day, he’s a world-class player and has made such a difference at the start of this season. Do you want to lose him? Of course you don’t. He’s irreplaceable, if I’m being honest. One day, unfortunately, when he wants to go he will. Hopefully we get a couple more seasons out of him — at least.”
Real are stuck at sixth in La Liga — although they are only four points off table-topping rivals Barcelona. They travel to Basque minnows Eibar post after the international break.
This is Real Madrid we are talking about, and while links to Roca are good for the youngster, do not bet on the three-time defending Champions League winners surprisingly all by eventually signing both the Espanyol youngster and Hazard before the start of next season.