Real Madrid warned Eden Hazard won't come cheap by former president Ramon Calderon
The former Real Madrid president had his say on Hazard, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba
By Alex Milne & Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 30/05/19 6:55pm
Ex-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has warned his former club not to expect Chelsea to lower their valuation of Eden Hazard.
The Belgian is entering the final year of his contract at Chelsea, who value Hazard at £130m, but Real Madrid are confident of signing him for no more than £88m, Sky Sports News understands.
Hazard admitted his two-goal performance in Wednesday's 4-1 Europa League win over Arsenal felt like "goodbye" but Calderon, who has experience of negotiating with Chelsea, believes Real Madrid will have to up their offer to sign him.
Calderon told Sky Sports News: "It seems Hazard is coming and that is really good news for Real Madrid.
"I think now it is a matter of money. The player has said clearly that he wants to leave and he wants a new challenge.
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"It is not fair to keep a player who has been there for seven years and who has one year left on his contract.
"Of course Chelsea are not easy negotiators. I know that quite well because in 2007 I had a long negotiation with Peter Kenyon at the time and Roman Abramovich about Arjen Robben.
"He was not playing for Chelsea but despite that they said the price was £35m. At that time it was a lot of money. I tried to reduce it many times and we waited until the last minute but finally we paid it."
While Hazard appears almost certain to be joining Madrid, a player who looks set for the exit door at the Bernabeu is Gareth Bale. The Welshman has had a difficult, injury-plagued season at the club, and manager Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants the 29-year-old to move on.
Calderon thinks a loan move could be the best option for the former Tottenham player.
"It's a pity what is happening with Bale," he said. "The injuries have affected him a lot. They somehow indicate a lack of commitment to the fans, and he doesn't speak Spanish, he can't express what he thinks, and it is clear that Zidane doesn't count on him. He's still a top player though, and I'm sure he would be successful in any other team.
"The problem is how Real Madrid find a solution for both parties. His salary is high and if Madrid want a similar fee to what they paid for him I don't see many clubs agreeing, which is a point they have to take into account. Maybe a loan rather than a transfer could be a solution.
"England would in theory be the best place for him. Perhaps a loan move to a British club would be best to help his confidence and see if he can become the player he once was."
Bale has struggled partly due to the high expectations put on him to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus last summer. Calderon lamented Madrid's decision to let the five-time Ballon d'Or player go.
"Cristiano's transfer was a very big mistake - a historic mistake. I think the president knows it now but he should have known before," Calderon said.
"Zidane said before he left 'I want to keep Cristiano and I want to sell Bale.' That was clear but the president decided not to accept that advice and Zidane left.
"Look what has happened. In March we were out of all the competitions. That has not happened very often.
"Now we need to change many players and signing players now is not easy. The ones you would like to have belong to rich clubs so the price will be very high for the ones you can get. The bar is set very high after Neymar's transfer."
One player still on Madrid's radar is Manchester United's Paul Pogba. Calderon, however, believes he may be out of the club's price range.
Calderon said: "Pogba? Maybe. He is a player that Zidane has says he would really like to come. Now, it would be a problem of money. Our president has decided to invest a ridiculous amount of money in the new stadium."
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