Chelsea will not part with Eden Hazard easily, says Ramon Calderon, with the former Real Madrid president expecting those at the Santiago Bernabeu to have to dig deep.
A Belgium international forward has made no secret of his desire to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
He has admitted to being ready for a “goodbye”, with a seven-year stint in west London about to be brought to a close.
Hazard is approaching the final year of his contract at Chelsea and is hoping to see his current club grant his wish to take on a new challenge.
Calderon, though, cannot see Madrid getting their man without a fight, with the Blues having history when it comes to demanding big money from the Blancos.
“It seems he is coming and it’s really good news for Real Madrid if he finally signs for our club,” Calderon told Sky Sports on a deal for Hazard that has been mooted for some time.
“I think now it’s a matter of money.
“The player has said clearly that he wants to leave, he wants a new challenge and I think it’s not fair not to allow a player after seven years and with one year left on his contract, not to let him go.
“Of course Chelsea are not easy negotiators. I know that well because in 2007 I had a long negotiation with Peter Kenyon and Roman Abramovich about [Arjen] Robben.
“He wasn’t playing for Chelsea but despite that they said the price was 35 million, which at the time was a lot of money – now it’s peanuts. Finally we paid that. We tried many times to reduce that amount and waited until the last minute, but finally we paid that.
“I’m sure in this case it will be the same, they will be trying to get as much money as they can.
“That’s what you have to do when you are the owner or the president of a club and a player says that he wants to leave. You say, ‘Ok you want that so let’s try to negotiate the money’.”
Calderon added on the qualities that Hazard, at 28 years of age, would bring to the Santiago Bernabeu: “He is a very, very good player. He’s a top player.
“He can play either as a winger or a midfielder, as an attacking midfielder, he can use both feet, he can switch flanks if needed.
“Vinicius, the Brazilian, is playing on the left, so maybe he can play on the other side.
“Also he can be a false nine, he has good dribbling, excellent passing, he scores goals.
“He is a very good player. One of those players that any side would like to have with them. If he comes, I think everyone will be very pleased.”