Chelsea are prepared to test Lille’s resolve by offering Gael Kakuta plus cash for £22m-rated Eden Hazard.
The Blues are also in the market for coveted Valencia forward Juan Mata as they seek to bolster their options in wide areas but he could cost upwards of £30m. Negotiations are ongoing for the Spain international as well as for Tottenham creator Luka Modric though Hazard is being lined up as cover should either transfer fall through.
The 20-year-old was a target for Chelsea in January only to see an undisclosed bid rejected. However, they believe they might have a way of resurrecting a potential deal after the Ligue 1 champions expressed an interest in taking Gael Kakuta on loan. Despite his talent, the young Frenchman is currently surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge with the club still considering him in the developmental stage of his career. The Londoners would prefer not to lose him on a permanent basis but are ready to use him as a makeweight to land Hazard.
Another factor that Chelsea believe is in their favour is the growing amount of young Belgian stars in their ranks. Romelu Lukaku’s transfer from Anderlect is all but complete while Thibault Courtois joined the club earlier this summer – albeit to be immediately loaned out to Atletico Madrid for two years. Genk’s Kevin De Bruyne is also set to move to West London and the presence of his compatriots could persuade Hazard to make Stamford Bridge his next home ahead of interest from Arsenal.