Arsenal have reportedly moved ahead in the race for Liverpool target Eden Hazard.
The 19-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in European football and has consistently been linked with a move away from Lille after a string of sensational displays for the French side.
Liverpool are thought to have been closely monitoring the Belgian, as have Chelsea and Real Madrid but - according to Sport.co.uk - Arsenal are frontrunners for his signature.
“There is a lot of interest in Eden currently as you would expect,” a source close to the £15 million-rated starlet told Sport.co.uk.
“Which top club in football wouldn’t want to be interested in such a fantastic talent?
“But obviously one must look at the situation from the perspective of Lille. It is impossible to talk about a move in January even if the player wanted to leave.
“Lille are leading Ligue 1 and they want to finish the season competing at the top. However a move in the summer is possible, but we will have to look at what offers are on the table. “
“As I said many top managers and clubs are interested in Eden. Arsenal have a lot of French players, and Eden is from Belgium, so language would not be a problem. He is a talented young player like many Arsenal players, but we will have to wait and see.”
The tricky winger has even been compared to Arsenal star Samir Nasri, something the source previously explained when speaking to the Daily Mail: “There is even something of Sami Nasri about him. He can play on either flank or through the middle, and he has great pace and technique. Arsenal would suit him perfectly.”
However, despite Arsenal seemingly in the box seat to sign the precocious talent, Liverpool are thought to remain keen to seal a deal for his services.
Hazard would certainly fit with the ethos of Liverpool owners NESV in their pursuit of talent that can be developed at Anfield and a deal would represent a significant coup.
Along with Hazard, Liverpool have been linked with a number of potential targets as the Reds look to bolster their squad this month.
Roy Hodgson and Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli have been locked in discussions over potential acquisitions and a number of new faces are expected to be brought to Anfield during the transfer window.
"There's no doubt I and Damien Comolli are pushing the owners to back us if we come up with the right people and I think they probably will," said the Liverpool boss. "We are targeting players who clubs don't want to let go even if we offer them good money. I think our supporters need to understand that and they will understand that."