Talks have taken place between Real Madrid and Chelsea over the transfer of Eden Hazard with reports claiming the Premier League side have dropped their asking price.
Chelsea are resigned to losing their talisman at the end of the season. They initially demanded £100million for the Belgium international whose contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of next season. But the Madrid-based newspaper AS claims Chelsea have dropped their asking price to somewhere between €80million and €90million (£69-78milllion).
The report adds that the Premier League side have already identified Nicolas Pepe of Lille as the ideal replacement for Hazard. The Ivory Coast international is the second-highest scorer in Ligue 1 with 19 goals – only Kylian Mbappe has scored more.
Pepe has also been linked with interest from both Bayern Munich and Arsenal.
But while Hazard’s transfer is likely to go through there could be a problem with any deal for Pepe. Chelsea face a two-window transfer ban after being found guilty by Fifa of signing players under the age of 18 in contravention of rules on child trafficking.
Chelsea have applied to have the ban suspended so they can make signings this summer.