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Report: Real Madrid to target four Chelsea stars

Chelsea v Hull City - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Ngolo Kante of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge on January 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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A report from Spanish outlet Don Balon claims Real Madrid are keeping a close eye on four Chelsea stars ahead of the summer transfer window.

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The players who are said to be interesting the reigning European champs are Eden Hazard (Real are long-time admirers of his), plus N’Golo Kante, Thibaut Courtois and Marcos Alonso.

Rumors of Hazard and Courtois swapping Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu have been circulating for the past few months, while the report about Zinedine Zidane wanting to sign Kante last summer but being shut down by Real’s president Florentino Perez suggests they may go back in for the France superstar after his stunning debut season for Chelsea.

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Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester for $35 million last summer and you have to think he is now worth over $60 million following his stunning displays which suggest he will be named the PFA Player of the Year while also winning his second PL title in a row after clinching the crown with Leicester City last season. Kante and Casemiro would provide some serious steel to Real’s midfield but is there room for both of them with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos around too?

It’s always a fine balancing act for Zidane and also the definition of “champagne problems” when you consider he also has central players Kovacic, Isco and Marco Llorente around too.

As for Alonso, the former Real Madrid academy product has had a fairly nomadic career for a player of his age, spending time with three different clubs in England (Bolton, Sunderland, Chelsea) and then in Italy with Fiorentina. With Real currently having Marcelo at left back bringing in Alonso, who is entering his prime at 26, doesn’t seem like a sensible move for the player or the club.

He would be a good long-term option at left back and has shown his undoubted attacking ability to slot in to Real’s team perfectly, but given the fact he’s a regular for Chelsea at left-wing back it would seem slightly far-fetched to see him leave the Blues. That said, Chelsea have been linked with a move for former Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand, so maybe Alonso moving back to his boyhood club to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather makes sense.

The likelihood of one of these deals, let alone four, getting done seems remote considering all four players are key cogs in Antonio Conte’s machine at Chelsea.

Hazard remains the jewel in Chelsea’s crown and if Real come in with a world-record bid for the Belgian attacker this summer it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

It’s not like Chelsea need the money but with Conte’s philosophy clear and everyone on board as they lead the Premier League by seven points, if heads are turned this summer he will soon realize.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports