Thibaut Courtois would choose Eden Hazard ahead of Neymar as a blockbusting signing for Real Madrid this year.
Courtois played alongside his Belgium international team-mate for four seasons at Chelsea before moving to the Santiago Bernabeu last August.
The Spanish capital has frequently been touted as a future destination for Hazard, who is yet to commit to the Premier League club beyond the end of next season.
Madrid’s market activity has been somewhat at odds with the Galacticos era over recent transfer windows and interim head coach Santiago Solari and his predecessor Julen Lopetegui have felt the effects of Cristiano Ronaldo not being replaced following his July departure to Juventus.
Ex-Barcelona star Neymar is reported to remain a Madrid target, but Courtois believes his countryman would be a better signing.
In an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the 26-year-old goalkeeper said: “I [would] choose Eden, of course. I really like him, but the choice is up to the board.
“I do not know what will happen. That is not a question for me, but for the chairman and the management.
“The team is what it is now. Karim Benzema is in a good shape and scored 17 goals. [Gareth] Bale started well, but then had to deal with injuries.
“You see in the matches that we have quality, only sometimes it is not possible to score.”
— Eden Hazard (@hazardeden10) July 15, 2018
Barcelona are 10 points better off than third-place Madrid at the top of LaLiga and in pole position to retain their title.
The Catalan club have operated with a far more expansive transfer policy than their bitter rivals of late, particularly since Neymar’s world-record €222million departure to PSG in August 2017.
Nevertheless, Courtois does not see their recruitment continuing at such a rate due to the demands of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
“We do not have to look at other teams, we have to look at ourselves,” he said. “We have to build a new team.
“Who knows [whether] other teams will get into trouble with the rules of Financial Fair Play?
“If you see that Barcelona have already spent twice the amount they have received for Neymar, they may have to sell again soon.”
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