Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid manager 'appreciates' Chelsea's Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has scored 17 goals in all competitions for Chelsea this season

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane admits he has "always appreciated" Chelsea's Eden Hazard amid reported interest from the European champions.

Hazard, 28, had previously said he was torn between a new deal at Stamford Bridge and a "dream" move to Real.

The Belgian's contract at Chelsea expires in June 2020, with reports in Spain claiming the Blues may be willing to sell at the end of this season.

Zidane said: "He's a player I have always appreciated. He is fantastic."

During the press conference for Real's home game with Eibar, Zidane added: "I will not give my personal opinion about what may happen because the season has not ended.

"He has played in France, I have watched him a lot and I know him personally."

Third in La Liga, 13 points adrift of rivals Barcelona and with no silverware to compete for, attention has already turned to the summer transfer window at the Bernabeu and a major overhaul is expected after a difficult campaign.

Zidane, 46, returned as Real manager following the sacking of Santiago Solari in March, having previously left the club in May 2018 just five days after winning a third consecutive Champions League triumph.

The Frenchman has not been shy about potential targets on his return, claiming last week that he also likes Manchester United's Paul Pogba "a lot".

On his compatriot, Zidane said: "He has always said that, after Manchester, Madrid has always interested him. So when his experience at Manchester ends, why not come here to Madrid?"

Zidane suffered the first defeat of his second spell in charge on Wednesday as his side were beaten 2-1 by Valencia - their ninth league defeat of the season.