Real Madrid supporters would rather the club sign Eden Hazard this summer than Neymar، according to the latest Marca poll،.
The shock result might suit the Spanish club's president Florentino Perez، because he believes signing his long-term Brazilian target remains next-to-impossible this summer.
The vote of confidence for Hazard is the result of a poll asking 200،000 supporters about the future of the club post-Cristiano Ronaldo. There were various questions put to fans and it was the last one - who they wanted the club to sign to replace Ronaldo - that offered up the most surprising answer، as the Daily Mail said.
As expected، with the 19-year-old lighting up the World Cup all the way to the final، 54 per cent wanted Kylian Mbappe. But Neymar، with 14 per cent of the vote، was squeezed into third by Hazard with 15 per cent. There were also 10 per cent of votes for Harry Kane. Madrid president Florentino Perez will consult public opinion as he makes his next move، and although he is unlikely to be swayed from his long-term objective of signing Neymar، he will be encouraged to go for Hazard now he has seen the degree to which it would be a popular acquisition.
The player told Bein Sports in France before Tuesday's semi-final defeat at the World Cup: 'Real Madrid is a dream for any player، with or without [Zinedine] Zidane [as coach].'
He also said he was happy wearing the blue of Chelsea but his reluctance over signing a new deal that would make it more difficult for Madrid to sign him suggest he is waiting to see if the Spanish club make their move. Hazard would not be a like-for-like replacement but after an impressive World Cup he would excite supporters and leave Perez with another year to get Neymar.
Madrid still believe that Neymar is out of reach this summer and that Mbappe is even less likely to leave the French Champions.
If the teenager wins the World Cup he will be the biggest thing in French football since Zidane and Paris Saint-Germain - desperate to conquer the Champions League - see selling him to a rival for that very trophy as self-defeating in the extreme.
Madrid see the only chance of them signing Neymar this summer as coming from further Financial Fair Play problems for PSG. They had been cleared of breaking FFP rules but that the decision to let them off is now under review. If they were forced to lose one of their two forwards the desire to keep Mbappe might push Neymar towards Real Madrid.
But as things stand they plan to keep both the Frenchman and the Brazilian، and even Uruguyan forward Edinson Cavani who also lit up the World Cup before injury ruled him out of the quarter-finals.
In the Marca poll 63 per cent of Real Madrid supporters said they thought Ronaldo was the best player in the club's history and 47 per cent said they thought it was good business to have sold him.