Another Chelsea star identified as “key” to Eden Hazard move to Real Madrid

Reports in Spain claim that Eden Hazard’s transfer fee will be significantly influenced by Mateo Kovacic, especially now that both Chelsea and Real Madrid differ on their valuation of the Belgium international.

The Croatian midfielder is currently on loan at Chelsea from Madrid and whilst there is a desire for a permanent deal to be constructed, the London club are currently under a transfer ban.

The Blues are appealing the decision to ban them from making any signings for the next two transfer windows and if they are successful they will seek to sign Kovacic permanently.

The 24-year-old has made 42 first-team appearances for the West London club since last summer’s loan deal, but there is no option to buy included in the deal.

Football Espana says, quoting Marca, Los Blancos will pay over €100m for Hazard, but this fee could be reduced to €60m or less should the central midfielder be included in any deal.

“I want to try with Kovacic. He is only on loan, of course. I’d like very much that Kovacic will stay with us,” Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri told reporters earlier this week, reiterating his desire for the player to remain at Stamford Bridge.

Madrid signed the former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder from Italian giants Inter in the summer of 2015 for €30m and are said to want significantly more than that sum in the event of a permanent departure.

Ajax star reveals Cristiano Ronaldo “greatest quality” after scoring for Juventus in Champions League match

Matthijs de Ligt has revealed what he just discovered about Juventus talisman Cristiano Ronaldo during their encounter on Wednesday.

Ronaldo’s diving header broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, with David Neres equalising within 40 seconds of the restart in this Champions League quarter-final.

De Ligt realised just how much of a “predator” Cristiano Ronaldo can be in the box when the Portuguese scored for the Old Lady.

“It was a fiery atmosphere from the start and we had a few early chances, but unfortunately conceded just before half-time,” De Ligt told reporters.

“Ronaldo’s greatest quality, apart from his talent, is that he is a predator in the box. He sees an opportunity, just a tiny gap, and he goes for it incredibly quickly. He sprints into the area between two players.

“We know that you can’t leave gaps at the back for Juventus, as that’s what they prepare for. We passed it around and tried to find holes in their defence.

“I think we’ve done pretty well. We have a team with a lot of potential and that tends to emerge to its fullest in Champions League matches.

“We work so hard for each other. We proved today that Ajax are not in the Champions League quarter-finals because they are a fluke.

“Of course, Juventus are strong at home, everyone knows that, so it’ll be difficult in the second leg.”

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Luke Shaw hands Barcelona precious away victory (Match Report)

Barcelona secured a 1-0 win over Manchester United in their Champions League quarter final first leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

United defender Luke Shaw deflected Luis Suarez’s header past David De Gea on 12 minutes, to put the Catalan side in front.

Philippe Coutinho almost extended their lead on 36 minutes, but his close range effort was repelled by De Gea, before Diogo Dalot wasted a chance to equalise just before the break, heading wide from Ashley Young’s cross.

Both sides had half chances after the restart, with Suarez blasting off target on 66 minutes, before Jordi Alba forced another save from De Gea two minutes later.

Marcus Rashford hammered a free kick over the bar with 20 minutes remaining, before Chris Smalling lashed a snap shot high and wide in added time following Young’s deep free kick.

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How Lionel Messi was smashed in face by Chris Smalling during Champions League quarter-final match

Lionel Messi was left covered in blood after being clattered by Chris Smalling during the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals encounter at Old Trafford.

The Barcelona forward was smashed in the face by the trailing arm of the Manchester United centre-back after the pair challenged for the ball.

Smalling crashed into the Argentine with his shoulder before flying past him at speed, reports the Mirror.

His arm then caught the Barcelona star in the face, knocking him to the ground and causing his nose to bleed.

Messi spent some time on the ground as medics came on to offer their assistance.

The Argentine was then patched up and made his way to the touchline before the referee waved him back on after play resumed.

It doesn’t appear that Messi suffered any serious facial damage, despite the gruesome nature of the injury.

Messi had earlier played a key role in Barcelona’s opening goal – despite an initial bad touch.

Messi ran onto an Arthur pass and would have been clean through on goal had he got it right.

Photo Credit: Daily Star