Chelsea linked with Hazard as Lille continue to rule out a move
If reports in the Daily Mirror are to be believed then Chelsea are extremely keen on landing Lille playmaker Eden Hazard. The said daily even suggests that the Blues have asked Lille to come up with a figure that they would be willing to agree to, in order to see the transfer through in the current transfer window.
Lille official Jean-Michel Vandamm stopped short of naming clubs, but confirmed that there were in fact a lot of offers for Hazard. Vandamm is quoted as having said, “Yes, we have received a lot of very interesting proposals. But the clubs want the player immediately and on this we have a very clear idea: Hazard will remain at least until the end of the season. He will not go.”
However, Hazard is believed to have a release clause of £33m, a figure that will be more than within Chelsea’s reach. Andre Villas-Boas is expected to spend heavily in January in order to get Chelsea’s domestic campaign back on track and is even believed to have a massive transfer warchest of £140m.
However, even if the Blues do manage to somehow persuade Lille, a major stumbling block that could hamper any potential deal would be the player’s willingness to move. Despite strong interest from the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool, Hazard has hinted that he will prefer a move to Spain.
Speaking to RMC early last year, Hazard said, “I really enjoy England, Germany too. But my characteristics correspond to Spanish football. And this country also suits my temperament – the heat, the fine stadiums.”
According to some reports Spanish giants Real Madrid are also very keen on signing Hazard and that means that the 21-year old might just prefer to bide his time and secure a move to Spain in the summer.
Hazard joined Lille in the 2005 as a youth player and has since then grown by leaps and bounds to become their most important asset. He has made 171 appearances for the club so far, scoring 37 goals and creating another 28. Hazard’s playing style has often been compared to Lionel Messi as he is blessed with blistering pace and exceptional finishing abilities.
All signs point towards the fact that a move may now be imminent for Hazard, although Chelsea and his other English suitors may not be the ones to sign him.