The Manchester United F.C. is reportedly plotting to sign Eden Hazard after failing to get their initial target Gareth Bale of Real Madrid. The Red Devils are planning to shell out £65 million to acquire the Chelsea playmaker, according to the Daily Star.
Citing a source, the Star's Jeremy Cross reports that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been given the go signal by club owners to offer the Belgian footballer a deal worth £250,000 per week, explaining that both Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are now seen as nonviable targets.
Aside from Man United, Hazard has also been rumored to move to several clubs including Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain. However, his father, Thierry, reportedly insists that his son is completely committed to playing for his current team.
"Eden is completely focused on Chelsea. Even with Chelsea, he still has ambition. Winning a title might be hard, but finishing in the top three is still possible," the elder Hazard told Belgian newspaper Het Niewsblad.
It also seems a little unrealistic for Old Trafford to grab Hazard from Chelsea given that the latter will likely be reluctant to transfer one of their star players to a direct league rival. It pays to note, nevertheless, that Chelsea did sell Spanish midfielder Juan Mata to the Red Devils early last year.
While the Belgian forward has received the PFA Players' Player of the Year last season, he has struggled to carry over his previous form to the current campaign. He has gone 30 games without a goal, but he has been hindered by injury and was withdrawn from the Crystal Palace victory after only 16 minutes last Sunday due to a groin problem.
In more United trade rumors, it seems that manager Louis van Gaal is now prepared to make a whopping £40 million bid to sign Romelu Lukaku. Old Trafford is ready to test Everton F.C.'s resolve to keep their promising striker, the Daily Mirror reports. The purported move to sign Lukaku is said to address Manchester's problems up front.
The Red Devils are not expected to make a bid for the 22-year-old Everton star this month. It is understood that they are opting to wait until the end of the season and move him as part of another huge summer spending spree.
Lukaku has been in fine form so far this season as he scored 12 times in his 12 most recent games, netting a total of 19 goals in all competitions this term.
The biggest issue with this rumored acquisition would be the fact that Manchester United need to persuade Everton and their manager Roberto Martinez to sell Lukaku, The Hard Tackle pointed out. The Blues have previously shown that they can hold on to a player, given that they fended off Chelsea's expensive interest in John Stones in the 2015 summer transfer window. Nonetheless, they might be forced to reconsider as Old Trafford's reported £40 million bid is significantly more than Lukaku's projected market value of £20 million.