Former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy has urged the Blues to increase Eden Hazard's wages to £750,000-a-week in order to fend off interest from Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old has been in inspired form at the start of the season, scoring seven goals in his first eight Premier League appearances and driving the Blues towards top spot in the table.
The Belgium international seems to be thriving in his new role under Maurizio Sarri, which allows him more freedom in the final third of the pitch to influence proceedings.
However, Hazard is still refusing to rule out a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, as he dropped a bombshell at the start of the week by stating: "Sometimes in my head, I wake up in the morning and think I want to go. Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future. I am 27 and I will turn 28 in January."
The winger's comments will have come as a big shock to Chelsea supporters and Cundy, who played at Stamford Bridge between 1988 and 1992, believes that the club should make him the highest-paid player in world football.
"I think it’s a very open and a very honest statement," Cundy told talkSPORT. “If they come in with a big enough offer, I think we have to accept that there is a time and a place in a player’s career and he wants to go on and play for one of the biggest clubs, if not THE biggest club, in world football.
“But, from my point of view, I want him to stay – of course I do. I would make him the highest paid player in the world.
“I would give him £650k, £700k, £750k-a-week. What’s he worth on the open market, say £150million? You’re not going to be able to replace him!”
Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp echoed his colleague's thoughts later in the show, admitting that losing Hazard would be a "disaster" for the club.
“A lot of people at the start of the season probably didn’t fancy Chelsea as contenders, but the start they’ve had puts them in the picture," said Redknapp.
“So to lose Hazard would be a disaster. Without him they’re nowhere near the same team – he’s that good.
“They’ve got to do everything in their power to hang onto him, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be down to the player.
“It will be difficult to hang onto him when Real Madrid come calling."