Hazard was once Real Madrid’s prime target

The mutual admiration between Eden Hazard and Zinedine Zidane goes back a long way and almost led to Real Madrid bidding for the Chelsea star in the summer of 2016.

While impressing at Lille in his formative years, the Belgian caught the eye of Zidane as the former midfielder rose through the backroom ranks at Los Blancos.

Although Zidane’s early recommendations to snap up Hazard were not advanced on, he was again a target when the Frenchman began his first full season as coach.

Once Real had ended their interest in Paul Pogba, club president Florentino Perez turned his attention towards a deal for the Chelsea winger.

However it became apparent that any move would involve a significant financial outlay, and the Madrid bosses erred on the side of caution, recognising that Hazard’s style would cover the ground already occupied by Isco and Marco Asensio.

Now 26 and returning to the peak of his powers after injury, it would not be strange for Los Merengues to

reignite their admiration of the Belgian and formulate a serious play at attaining his services.

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