Real Madrid are lining up a shock summer transfer move for Georginio Wijnaldum should they miss out on Eden Hazard, according to reports.
The La Liga giants are desperate to add the Chelsea star to their ranks as their marquee signing this summer, but are preparing for the possibility Hazard could sign a new long-term deal at Stamford Bridge.
Summer recruit Wijnaldum has enjoyed a good debut season at Liverpool and has become a fan favourite at the club after scoring several important goals at Anfield.
Wijnaldum joined from Newcastle last summer and Real are convinced he could be an alternative to Hazard.
Real have already met with the midfielder’s agent as they look to move talks along quickly, according to Tuttomercatoweb.
Wijnaldum has scored five goals and provided eight assists this season in a Liverpool shirt with the Reds on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League.
Real have been discouraged in their pursuit of Hazard and Juventus sensation Paulo Dybala who recently signed a new long-term deal to stay in Turin.
Wijnaldum would cost considerably less than Hazard or Dybala, but Real consider the Netherlands international as an excellent stop gap if they are made to wait beyond this summer to sign Hazard and Dybala.
Liverpool fans will be worried to see Wijnaldum linked with such a shock big move after the 26-year-old forced his way out of Newcastle last summer.
Wijnaldum was the club’s top scorer, but after the Magpies were relegated, he left St James’ after just one season.
The Dutchman has never made any secret of his ambition, but also enjoys an excellent relationship with Jurgen Klopp and the rest of the Liverpool team.
Wijnaldum is under contract with the Reds until 2021, meaning Real would need to offer a significant increase on the £25 million Liverpool forked out last summer on the midfielder.