Arsenal turn to coveted Lille star after Dortmund playmaker snub
With England an almost certain destination for Eden Hazard this summer, it was initially believed that Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea were battling it out for the Belgian’s signature.
Arsenal have now emerged as contenders for his services too however, in the aftermath of long-term target Mario Gotze outlining a will to remain at his current club.
The Gunners had set aside around £30million to land Dortmund playmaker Gotze, and Arsene Wenger is now reportedly ready to splash that cash on Lille star Hazard.
Wenger has long-admired the Belgian attacking midfielder, having scouted the player for several years, and watch him mature into a fine player already, still at a tender 21 years old.
Though Arsenal may be considered a longshot to land Hazard, Wenger’s influence could prove vital, as could the presence of Hazard’s international team-mate Thomas Vermaelen at the Emirates.
As aforementioned, the prospective transfer fee of £32million would be no problem for the Gunners, who are expected to bring in a big name this summer to appease frustrated fans.
He would appear to have his best chance of attaining regular first-team football at Arsenal, of all interested parties, which may tempt the attack-minded starlet.
Also, a move for Hazard would undoubtedly underline the club’s ambition moving forwards, which they are determined to do in an attempt to hold on to captain Robin Van Persie.
What could prove a barrier to any potential move however, are Hazard’s astronomical wage demands, which are thought to have baffled even mega-rich Manchester City.
The 21-year-old, who will line up for Belgium against England at Wembley next month, is thought to be demanding an incredible £200,000 per week.
Even skipper Van Persie was offered a club-best £130,000 per week salary to remain at the Emirates, and with that paling in comparison to what Hazard wants, the Belgian would have to significantly lower his demands to force through a move to North London.