Chelsea have found the man they want to replace Eden Hazard is he departs for Real Madrid this summer.
Chelsea are ready to return to Eden Hazard’s former club Lille for his replacement Nicolas Pepe.
The Ivory Coast winger, 23, has made it clear to the the French outfit that he wants to leave this summer. Lille have responded by slapping a £70million price tag on his head.
Pepe has been a smash hit in Ligue 1 this season, scoring 19 times and assisting a further 11 in just 32 matches. The sensational run of form has helped to lift Lille up to second in the table.
Chelsea , who meet Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night, are resigned to losing Hazard at the end of the season as the Belgian has just a year left on his contract.
The club are fighting against the transfer ban they’ve had imposed on them and have lined up Pepe in case their appeal is successful.
Hazard spent five years at Lille before leaving for London in a stunning £32million deal in 2012. The 28-year-old has since lifted two Premier Leagues, the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.
With the club languishing outside the Premier League’s top four, however, Hazard is set to follow up his well-documented wish to work with Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid .
Meanwhile defender Gary Cahill is continuing to attract interest from West Ham . The former England centre-back, 33, has been out in the cold, desperate for regular first-team football, at Chelsea.
He could get his wish this week with Antonio Rudiger a big doubt for Thursday quarter-final, second leg.
Rudiger is having a scan to determine the extent of the knee injury he suffered in Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool.
Cahill made just seven appearances this term, the last of which was against PAOK Salonika five months ago.