Eden Hazard: Top 6 Transfer Destinations for Lille Star
Lille forward Eden Hazard looks set to dominate the transfer speculation next summer after confirming he wants to leave France at the end of the season.
"I am ready to go to the next level at a big club," Hazard said. "I won't leave in January. It would be silly to do so. But it's my last season at Lille.
"I stayed with Lille this year because I still had things to work on and prove. But now I'm ready. I feel able to play in another country."
Hazard has ruled out a move to big-spending Paris Saint-German, leaving his future in the hands of one of a handful of clubs with the draw and the funds to sign him.
Here are the leading six contenders for his signature.
Lille academy coach Jean-Michel Vandamme says Chelsea are the team watching Hazard most intently.
The Blues will perhaps be looking to offload older players like Didier Drogba (33) and Nicolas Anelka (32) next summer in an attempt to freshen up Andre Villas-Boas' team.
"Eden is certainly willing to stay at Lille at least until next summer." Vandamme said. "The buyer will have to come up with a lot of money - let's say he is not currently to go for less than £40 million.
"Chelsea has been following him the closest. The Spaniards have not manifested themselves yet, but I think they are playing it smart and will call when they know they have to - I'm talking about Real Madrid, but also about Barcelona."
According to the Daily Telegraph, Arsene Wenger has made the Belgian international one of his top transfer targets for next summer.
There is a potential problem, however. Lille are still upset about the way Arsenal beat them to Monaco's Park Chu-Young, and their president Michel Seydoux recently said this:
"We had an agreement hours before Arsenal signed him, and Wenger was not elegant on this subject. Arsenal and Hazard? We will see next summer – there are other clubs interested."
3. Manchester City
4. Manchester United
6. Real Madrid
Real Madrid have been watching Hazard closely, and there were even some reports suggesting the Spanish club had already agreed a deal.
It seems those reports were premature, but with Madrid's spending power and the lure of Jose Mourinho, they have to be considered among the favorites.