Eden Hazard ‘s future at Chelsea is in the balance as Real Madrid line up a mega-money move for the Belgian star.
Real have put Hazard at the top of their shopping list for when the summer transfer window opens up again in July, with Mirror Sport revealed the Spanish giants are lining up a record breaking transfer for the 26-year-old Belgium.
The Blues, however, are reportedly set to offer the midfielder a new deal in the region of £300,000, which would make him the highest paid player at the London club.
But should the unthinkable happen for Blues fans, who could replace Hazard if Los Blancos came calling?
Here are five realistic suggestions…
The Blues have previously been linked with a £51m deal for the Croatian , but Inter Milan will not let their 28-year-old winger go without a fight.
Since his move to Inter in 2015, Perisic has been one of the best wingers in Serie A and was also one of Croatia’s most influential players in both the qualification and knockout stages of Euros 2016 last summer.
He was top goalscorer in qualification with an impressive six strikes in nine matches and also netted the opener in the second group match against Czech Republic, and the winner against Spain. Although he made the headlines for some ‘interesting’ haircut choices.
However, at 28 the 6ft 1in winger is already in his prime, and Chelsea may decide to go for a younger option instead. They signed Hazard at just 21 and are benefiting from the Belgian’s best years.
The Stamford Bridge side also face competition from Manchester United for his signature.
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Could a swap deal be on the cards?
The Real attacking-midfielder has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs .
Liverpool are also keeping an eye on James, while Manchester United and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are keen.
The 25-year-old Columbian is out of favour with Real boss Zinedine Zidane, having only started eight league games this season. The Frenchman’s favoured formation is a flat 4-3-3, leaving no space for an attacking-midfielder – Rodriguez’s best position.
When James has played though, he has failed to reach the heights of his first season at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he finished in the La Liga team of the season.
If he is available the competition is likely to be fierce, and the fee huge, but Chelsea certainly have the financial backing to pull off the transfer.
The Chilean forward has recently been linked with some of the biggest clubs in England, with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte putting the Arsenal star at the top of his wish-list.
The two Manchester clubs are among those interested, with Inter and Juventus also keen.
It is rumoured that Sanchez will consider leaving the club on a bosman transfer if things don’t improve at Arsenal.
The Gunners No.7 would certainly be a capable replacement for Hazard, with both of them regarded as two of the best forwards in the world.
Valued at around £20m, Sassuolo winger Berardi would be a relatively cheap replacement for Hazard but Chelsea would face stiff competition from a range of clubs though, with Inter and Juventus among those interested in the 22-year-old.
The Italian forward has earned himself the reputation of being one of the brightest young talents in Europe, despite missing half of this season due to injury.
Having joined Sassuolo from Italian third-division side Cosenza Calcio in 2010, Berardi has netted a respectable 52 goals from 141 appearances, not bad for a player that has played predominately as a winger.
One stumbling block for Chelsea however, is that Juventus have a £22m first-option clause if they decide they want to follow their interest with a concrete offer.
Antonio Conte is believed to be a big fan of the winger, having handed the 22-year-old his Italy debut last year.
The Blues boss will be encouraged by Florentina manager Paulo Sousa’s comment about the forward in December, in which he said that Bernadeschi “deserved to play for a club with more ambition”.
Like Berardi, the Italian international is recognised as one of the best young sparks in Italy, with 10 goals from 22 starts for the Serie A outfit so far this season.
Valued at around £20m the young winger would be an economical, but amicable replacement for Hazard.
Who should Chelsea get to replace Hazard if he goes?
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