Date: 20th May 2012 at 1:00pm
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There has been something of a race to sign Lille’s Eden Hazard but Chelsea may break the bank to fend off interest from Manchester United and Manchester City according to the Daily Mail‘s ‘reliable source in France’, who say that the player’s agent was in London to discuss a potential deal yesterday.

The 21-year-old’s transfer fee would likely be in excess of £30 million if he leaves his club this summer and could be offered a staggering £250,000-a-week, and it’s the wages that have reportedly turned both City and United off the player.

Should such a deal go through it would make Hazard the second highest earner in the Premier League after Yaya Toure, who is on £270k-a-week. You’d think for this to happen some of our existing high earners will be moved on to reduce our already high wage budget as we have Financial Fair Play to consider.

It looks like the player is definitely leaving Lille after his final game for the French club against Nancy today, with the player due to announce his future plans soon. City had been the favourites to sign him but unless he scales down his wage demands it seems as though a late move by Chelsea could see the Belgian at Stamford Bridge next season. The fact we’ve just been crowned European Champions won’t hurt our chances either.

Everyone knows that Hazard is already a fantastic player with the potential to be even greater but there are two things about this particular player that will concern Chelsea fans.

Firstly, as I’ve already mentioned it is the money as every time high transfer fees and wages are spent someone will mention UEFA’s financial fair play rule, which is an obvious reason to worry. However, with the player’s potential he could become one of Europe’s best and should have a high resale value should he fulfil his ability.

The other factor that may turn people off the player is his supposed poor attitude. He definitely seems to be a little cocky to the point that he’s even teased fans when speculating over his own future but it’s a hard thing to gauge as it’s rare for a player’s dirty laundry to be aired in public when it comes to their behaviour on the training ground and in the dressing room.

But I wouldn’t say the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have particularly good attitudes, it’s rarely been a problem for the clubs they play for and our very own Didier Drogba has riled even his our fans with some of his actions in the past. I think with the right coaching and surrounded by the experienced professionals we have would cancel out any issue with Hazard’s attitude.

Let me just stress that this is of course rumour but it’s an exciting one and would love to see the player at the club. He’s been named Ligue One player of the year twice in-a-row and is a constant source of chances, making 16 assists last season whilst scoring 19 goals.

Would be a more than ideal replacement for Florent Malouda, no?