Newcastle owners ‘optimistic’ of beating Chelsea to main January transfer target

Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard laugh during Real Betis vs Real Madrid, August 2021

Newcastle’s owners are ‘optimistic’ of beating Chelsea to their main target for the January transfer window, according to a report.

The Magpies are still languishing in the Premier League relegation zone after their uninspiring draw with Brighton on Saturday evening. With just goal difference keeping them off the bottom, it’s clear investment is seriously needed.

The new Saudi-backed hierarchy at St James’ Park have only one transfer window to get things right.

It is therefore crucial that they recruit wisely. And they have their sights set on a man who they believe can secure safety.

According to Sport, their first-choice acquisition is Eden Hazard. And they believe they can get a deal done, despite Chelsea looking to re-sign their former star man.

That’s because Hazard is not in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans. The report states the manager has lost confidence in the winger.

The 30-year-old is being kept out of the team by younger stars. Brazilian pair Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, aged 21 and 20 respectively, are both ahead in the pecking order.

Therefore, Real will be happy to let him leave the Santiago Bernabeu should they receive an offer from Tyneside which they approve of.

Getting rid of the Belgian international would clear a considerable amount off of their wage bill. He is their highest paid player along with Gareth Bale.

Eden Hazard sat on the Real Madrid bench

Signing Hazard would be a major statement and although he hasn’t been a hit in the Spanish capital, he should considerably improve Newcastle’s chances.

Ancelotti has left the door open for his exit. He recently said (via Goal): “Never in my coaching career have I forced a player to stay when they want to leave. In my personal opinion, there is no question about that.

“If a player wants to leave, he will leave. There is not much doubt about this.”

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United turned Hazard down

Some reports have suggested Real have been offering Hazard out to the teams in recent weeks, including Newcastle.

And Goal, citing reports in the Spanish press, claimed that Manchester United were offered the chance to sign Hazard in January.

However, the Red Devils turned the opportunity down. When doing so, they pointed out two key problems surrounding the winger.

Firstly, Hazard’s best years seem to be behind him. And United chiefs also noted Hazard’s injury record.

The 30-year-old has spent plenty of time on the sidelines since moving to Madrid in July 2019. He has never made more than 16 league appearances in a single campaign for Los Blancos.

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