Chelsea have reportedly joined the race to sign teenage sensation Eden Hazard, although the Premier League champions are expected to face stiff competition from Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool for the youngster's signature.
Along with the Premier League foursome, Real Madrid and Inter Milan are also currently monitoring the 19-year-old, who has been setting the French Ligue 1 alight this season with some dazzling displays.
However, a deal is unlikely to be struck during the January transfer window according to Hazard’s agent. although it is thought that Lille would be willing to part ways with the talent winger if the asking price is matched.
Although interest in the Belgian international is high, it has been suggested that the much-coveted youngster would favour a move to Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal, with Hazard believed to be an admirer of the Gunners' style of play under Arsene Wenger at Emirates Stadium.
“For all the interest in him, Chelsea are the only ones who have made an approach,” a source close to the player said in the Daily Mail.
“He has agreed with the president that he will not leave in the January window, but something may well happen at the end of the season.
“Of course, Real Madrid would be an attractive proposition, but Eden really likes Arsenal's style of play under Arsene Wenger.
“There is even something of Samir Nasri about him. He can play on either flank or through the middle, and he has great pace and technique. Arsenal would suit him perfectly.”
The Gunners, having managed to fend off the advances of Barcelona for their captain Cesc Fabregas in the summer, are expected to have a similar fight on their hands next year.
Wenger may consider Hazard a worthy replacement for Fabregas should Barca finally bag their man at the end of the season.
By Matt Maltbycomments