Real Madrid are set to announce the signing of Eden Hazard from Chelsea for a fee of around €100 million (Dh413m) following this month's Europa League final, according to a report.
French newspaper L'Equipe reported Monday that Belgian forward Hazard will move to the Spanish giants after Chelsea's final game of the season, against Arsenal in the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.
Hazard, who joined Chelsea for around £32 million (Dh153m) in 2012 from French club Lille, has one year left to run on his contract but has long been linked with a move to the Bernabeu. The English club, perhaps fearing that Hazard could run down his contract and depart on a free transfer next summer, now appear willing to cash in on their prized asset, although no doubt reluctantly.
Chelsea secured a third-place finish in the Premier League on Sunday thanks to a 0-0 draw at home to Leicester City.
Hazard began the match on the bench but was introduced as a second-half substitute in what now looks to be his farewell game at Stamford Bridge.
The 28 year old has established himself as one of the best forwards in world football during his seven seasons at Chelsea and helped the club win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and one Europa League.
Hazard could yet add to that tally before he departs for Madrid. Chelsea take on London rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final at the end of the month having secured their place in the Azerbaijan showpiece with a penalty shoot-out victory over German club Eintract Frankfurt in the semi-finals.
The arrival of Hazard will be welcomed by Madrid fans who have seen their team endure a disappointing season as they trail champions Barcelona by 18 points going into Sunday's final Liga game of the campaign.
Real will finish third regardless of their result against Real Betis having also relinquished their three-year stranglehold on the Champions League following a last-16 exit to Ajax who recorded a famous 4-1 win over Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Having sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Italian champions Juventus last summer, Julen Lopetegui was sacked as Real manager after just four months following a 5-1 reverse to Barcelona in the first clasico of the season last October. His replacement, Santiago Solari, fared little better and was sacked on March 11 following a string of disappointing results.
Zinedine Zidane, the Frenchman who lead Madrid to three successive Champions League titles, returned to the hot-seat following Solari's dismissal on a three-year deal but has endured mixed results.
Hazard's expected arrival is likely to pave the way for Gareth Bale's departure, although the Welsh forward's agent insisted last week that his client will resist any attempts by the club to make him leave despite being informed by Zidane he has no future at the club.