Chelsea 'closest' to Hazard

by Setanta Staff , 19 October 2011 Chelsea

Manchester City have joined Chelsea in the race for Eden Hazard, but the Blues remain 'closest' to the Lille winger, according to his club.

Manchester City Football Development Executive Patrick Vieira watched the Belgian starlet in action against Inter last night.

The former Arsenal midfielder was in the crowd at the Stade Metropole as the French champions lost 1-0 to Inter in Group B.

Hazard, 20, did not have his best game but the result that leaves Lille bottom of their group could hasten his departure from the club, with Arsenal expected to come back in with a bid for him in January.

The Gunners, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter have shown interest, as well as City, but Lille academy director Jean-Michel Vandamme, the man who took Hazard to Northern France suggests that his suitors may have to wait until the summer.

"Eden is certainly willing to stay at Lille at least until next summer," he said.

"Here is his home, this is his garden. Chelsea has been following him the closest," added Vandamme.

"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, but also about Barcelona.

"The buyer will have to come up with a lot of money - let us say he is not currently to go for less than forty million."

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