The Liga club, who reappointed Zinedine Zidane as coach yesterday 10 months after he resigned, have already been in touch with the Blues about their desire to buy Hazard at the end of the season. But it is believed that Real are also keen on Kante as they look to rebuild their squad after a disappointing campaign.
Kante is regarded by many as the best defensive midfielder in the world, although he has been playing in a more advanced role under Stamford Bridge manager Maurizio Sarri this term.
The French World Cup winner became Chelsea’s highest-paid player when he agreed a five-year contract worth £290,000-a-week in November.
Chelsea will be reluctant to sell Kante as he has become a vital member of their squad since joining from Leicester for £32million in 2016. But after Real’s three-year reign as Champions League holders was ended by Ajax in humiliating fashion last week — plus their poor title challenge — the Spanish club are determined to bring in some fresh talent and Kante’s name is on their wishlist.
Of the two targets, Hazard will be easier to sign and it appears that the only issue now is whether the clubs can agree a fee. Despite him being available on a free transfer in 2020, Chelsea will still demand in excess of £100m for the 28-year-old, who has given no indication that he wants to sign an extension to his contract at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgium international has admitted it is his dream to play for Real on numerous occasions and now his idol Zidane is back at the helm.
Standard Sport revealed last month that the Belgium international had become Real’s top target ahead of Paris St Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The attacking midfielder’s price will not only be smaller in comparison, but his wage package should be simple to negotiate — he is earning £200,000-a-week before tax at Chelsea.
One complication is that Chelsea have been handed a two-window transfer ban by FIFA for breaching rules over the signing of foreign minors, although the governing body’s decision does not prevent them from selling members of the senior squad.
Fifa have blocked Chelsea’s request to suspend the ban while their appeal is being heard, although they are expected to take that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
As things stand, Chelsea will have an awkward decision to make of letting their best player go without being able to bring in any replacements. They did buy Christian Pulisic for £57.4m from Borussia Dortmund in January and he will join up with the squad for the first time in July after being loaned back to the Bundesliga club.
However, Chelsea are also struggling to persuade Callum Hudson-Odoi to stay on following four bids from Bayern Munich, while Pedro and Willian are both over 30.
The Blues could make Hazard see out his contract, but that would risk angering a player who has given his all for the cause for seven years as well as losing out on any revenue for their prized asset.
Hazard is Chelsea’s top scorer this season with 16 goals and also has 11 assists to his name. The club are currently in danger of missing out on playing in the Champions League for the third time in four seasons.