After launching a Hellenic transfer saga that has enthralled the world of football for weeks now, Lille winger Eden Hazard has set a date upon which he has promised to announce the English Premier League club he will be playing for next season.
Chelsea, along with the two Manchester clubs (United and City) have emerged as the front-runners to secure the 21-year-old starlet's transfer.
"We are no longer in the negotiations stage,” Hazard’s agent John Bico told The Telegraph. “We have reached agreement with all parties. There will be no higher bid.
"Eden has already said he wants it to be fixed before June 2. He will decide after [Belgium's] games against Montenegro and England, then go on holiday with peace of mind.
"Eden is in the reflections stage and a decision will be taken quickly. Those who have come forward have a one-in-three chance [of signing him]."
Hazard made waves two weeks ago when he announced that he would be wearing blue next season. Many guessed City had leapt to pole position in the race when Hazard was seen searching for houses in the Manchester area after dropping the "blue" hint. He was on hand for the City-United derby at the end of April as well.
But Telegraph writer Mark Ogden has now reported that Chelsea's financial muscle, which had appeared on the verge of dormancy, has allowed them to emerge as the favorites to sign Hazard for next season.
Hazard's reported demands of a £200,000-per-week salary has cooled off the Manchester interest, according to Ogden, with both clubs unwilling to meet that fee.
According to Ogden, City are willing to offer Hazard £110,000 per week. It is this sort of confusion over his wages that would call into question Bico's claims that agreements have been reached with all three clubs. Apparently, there's still some hammering out to tend to.
Hazard's seesawing over which club he will be playing for has not helped matters much, either.
After saying he would be playing for a club in Manchester, Hazard then said he would be sporting "light blue" next season (City's colors), only to backtrack this past Sunday, when he was first supposed to announce his decision following the termination of the Ligue 1 season.
He took that occasion and inevitable platform to announce that Chelsea had emerged as a contender for his signature.
Now he has set another due date: June 2. All that remains to be seen is whether he will adhere to it.