Newcastle United ‘frontrunners’ to sign former Chelsea star for knockdown price

This would be a shock move for Newcastle United.

Newcastle United are reportedly in the race to bring former Chelsea star Eden Hazard back to the Premier League.

Premier League rivals Aston Villa are also said to be ‘monitoring the situation’, with new manager Unai Emery said to be a long-term admirer of the Real Madrid winger. But it is Newcastle that are claimed to be the ‘front-runners’ as they look to boost their squad during the January transfer window and build on the momentum they have gained during an impressive run of form took them into contention for a Champions League spot.

Thoughts have already turned towards the January transfer window with a whole host of names already being linked with a move to St James Park - and Hazard is the latest to be suggested as a possible transfer target for Eddie Howe, with a fee of around £17m stated in the Spanish media.

Hazard’s own current form is something of a contrast to the Magpies after the Belgian star made just two starts in all competitions for the La Liga giants. The winger has been an unused substitute in Real’s last eight league fixtures and speculation over his future has increased in recent weeks.

Speaking to FIFA in a recent interview ahead of the World Cup, Hazard assessed his current situation at the Bernabeu, saying: “It’s complicated. There were a lot of things (having an impact), quite a few injuries, doubts and everything that goes with that. But now everything is back to normal. I only hope for one thing, to be able to show on the pitch that I’m still at the top, there’s not much more to say about it.”

However, reports in Spain have suggested last season’s Champions League winners ‘no longer have faith’ in Hazard to perform to the levels he reached with Chelsea prioer to his move to the Spanish capital. El Nacional also states the winger has informed club and international team-mate Thibault Courtois he will be departing the Bernabeu this winter.