Hazard, Costa linked with Real Madrid

RAFAEL Benitez reportedly wants to make the signing of Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Diego Costa his first act as Real Madrid’s new manager.

The duo have been vital cogs in the Chelsea side this season as Jose Mourinho’s side claimed the Premier League title.

But the Sunday Telegraph claims both players are on Benitez’s radar after the Spaniard took over at the Bernabeu last week and sees the pair as a key way to freshen up his attack and mount a strong challenge to Barcelona’s domestic and European dominance this season.

Hazard has been linked with a move to Real since the turn of the year, with Mourinho insisting recently that the player was happy at Stamford Bridge after penning a long-term deal to stay at the club.

Mourinho, meanwhile, has also been forced to deny reports that Costa is unhappy in London and keen on a move back to Spain, where he previously played for Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho insists that neither player will be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer.

He said: “I don’t see our team losing players. I don’t see our team losing our qualities, especially our mental, emotional approach to matches, to the season, to the competition.”

Instead, Mourinho claims he is looking to add “two or three” players to his squad.

He added: “It will be difficult to find players to go straight into the team. Because it’s not easy to find a better striker than Diego [Costa], a better keeper than [Thibaut] Courtois, a better midfield player than [Nemanja] Matic or [Cesc] Fabregas.

“It’s not easy to do what we did last season, where we brought two or three players and they went straight into the team.

“This season is about improving the squad.

“Bringing players to make us more consistent, so we don’t go through difficult periods like last season when we had crucial injuries. We have to try and protect that situation by adding two or three players.”

— Sportinglife

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