Through the course of each season a wealth of players are linked with big money transfers, and this year has been no different. Names have been mentioned and dismissed on an almost weekly basis, yet one keeps on recurring, Eden Hazard. But why is the Belgian so special? And will he make a summer move to the Premier League?
The likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and the Manchester duo have all been linked with the Lille star at some stage this campaign, with a view to a summer move, yet there has been no official approach as of yet for the youngster. He was rumoured to be close to completing a move to Spurs during the winter window, however a deal could not be struck with his club, who are believed to be holding out for a large fee in the summer, allowing them to replace the jewel in their crown.
Having been compared by some to Lionel Messi, it’s understandable that the 21-year-old is widely regarded as the man to sign this summer, with clubs all across Europe sending admiring glances toward the North of France. With a low centre of gravity and dazzling feet, the attacking midfielder is seen as the ideal acquisition for the English ‘big boys’ all of whom are looking to add creativity and talent to their ranks.
Manchester United are the latest club to have been strongly linked, with Sir Alex Ferguson anxious to add some flair to his, sometimes, pedestrian midfield. After missing out on Wesley Sneijder last summer the Scot is believed to be stepping up his persuit of reinforcements, seeing Hazard as the ideal man to link the midfield and strikeline. Meanwhile their city rivals are also believed to be in the hunt, with their policy of signing the cream of world talent no matter the cost, or indeed need, of the player.
Tottenham and Arsenal are perhaps the more intriguing of perspective destinations, with both sides desperately needing such a player. Spurs will be keen to add to their ranks in a bid to establish Champions League status, and a marquee summer buy such as Hazard will show a real intent to achieve this, while displaying the sort of ambition which may be enough to keep hold of certain squad members. Arsenal are rumoured to be interested for similar reasons, as they look to keep hold of Robin van Persie, who may be convinced to stay put if the club show intent to push on and challenge for silverware on a regular basis.
Chelsea and Liverpool present outside challenges, with both looking increasingly likely to miss out on a place at Europe’s top table next term. Both have plenty of cash to splash, and as a result could afford to pay over the odds to keep Hazard away from their rivals. Chelsea’s need for fresh talent is all too clear, yet without a permanent manager in place a sense of instability could be an issue. King Kenny’s Liverpool will be optimistic of their chances, having the trump card of Joe Cole currently on loan with the French side, yet with the Merseysider’s project looking to be a long term one, instant success for Hazard would be tough to achieve with the Reds.
It’s looking more and more likely that Hazard will depart Lille this summer, with the French side no longer able to match the youngster’s increasing ambition. There will plenty of options for the playmaker come the next window, as many of Europe’s elite clubs scramble for one of the most prized signatures in world football. Expect to see the Belgian wizard complete a big money move later this year.
Where do you think Hazard will go? have your say, or follow @Alex_Hams on Twitter where I will be praying he’ll choose Merseyside for his new home