Belgian superstar has delivered a snub to Premier League champions Manchester City and their rivals Manchester United by opting to join the Stamford Bridge clubEXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart
Eden Hazard is set to sign for Chelsea after finally making a decision on his future, Goal.com understands.
The £32 million-rated Lille attacker is understood to have agreed personal terms with the Blues and is likely to sign for the Stamford Bridge club this week.
Manchester United and Manchester City were also given permission to talk to Hazard, but the 21-year-old decided over the weekend to sign for Chelsea, finally bringing the end to the ongoing transfer saga.
“It’s a done deal,” a source told Goal.com. “Hazard has made his choice and he will play for Chelsea next season.”
| HAZARD'S 2011-12 IN STATS
Chelsea are believed to have met the financial demands of Hazard and his agent, and also influenced his decision with the offer of a regular first team starting spot - something that would not have been a guarantee at City.
The Blues stepped up their pursuit of one of Europe’s hottest talents following their triumph in the Champions League final, which guaranteed they will feature in Europe’s elite competition next season.
Hazard admitted after his final game for Lille that Chelsea’s astonishing triumph in Munich had forced him to reconsider his future, having previously been set on joining Roberto Mancini's Premier League champions.
“Chelsea could interest me now,” Hazard said. “They've won the Champions League and will therefore be in it next season. It's really important for me to be playing in that competition.
"Chelsea are a big club with some great players – of course it's a possibility.”
United and City had long been considered to be in a two-horse race for Hazard, but both clubs were believed to be concerned by the financial demands of the player's agent, who is understood to want £5 million for his part in any deal.
|"Hazard was Manchester City's primary close-season target - he attended the Manchester derby in late April as a guest of the club before being shown around houses in the area"|
Hazard was City’s primary close-season target - he attended the Manchester derby in late April as a guest of the club before being shown around houses in the area.
Chelsea's hijacking of the transfer, however, means Mancini has been dealt a chilling snub and Hazard is now set for a move to Chelsea, where Blues owner Roman Abramovich is ready to fund a regeneration of the squad over the summer.
The Ligue 1 player of the season is one of the most highly-rated talents in Europe and has been in stunning form, scoring 20 league goals and providing 22 assists.
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