Chelsea & United dealt £40m playmaker blow

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Chelsea and Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard.

The Lille starlet has been heavily linked with a move away from Los Rouges, with Europe's top clubs all tracking the 20-year-old's progress in Ligue 1.

However, club president Michel Seydoux insists the player will not be leaving the champions in January, with the club hoping to keep hold of their prized asset for a little longer.

"He is with us and I am counting on him for a long time. If we do ever agree to sell him it will have to be in a deal that pleases both sides," Seydoux told French radio station RMC Sports.

"We will not be negotiating in the winter but if someone wants to queue up for him in the summer they should be prepared with a lot of money. There is no set price."

Chelsea have recently emerged as the favourite to sign the £40 million-rated Hazard, with Lille academy director Jean-Michel Vandamme confirming that Andre Villas-Boas' men have been following the player closely.

"Eden is certainly willing to stay at Lille at least until next summer. 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," he told ANSA last week.

"The buyer will have to come up with a lot of money - let us say he is not currently to go for less than £40m."

Hazard would certainly fit the bill for type of players signed by the former Porto boss at Stamford Bridge, with AVB spending big to bring Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata to Chelsea this summer.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is another manager who isn't afraid to spend big on young players, with David de Gea and Phil Jones proving the philosophy at Old Trafford in the transfer window just past.

The Red Devils have constantly been linked with attacking midfielders since the retirement of Paul Scholes, and whilst Tom Cleverley has impressed in the position when fit, there is a general belief that the Manchester United manager will turn to the transfer market in January.

Wesley Sneijder and Ezequiel Lavezzi have both been linked, whilst Hazard has constantly been placed on the Manchester United radar since last summer, with reports both in January and August suggesting a move was possible.

The Scot is yet to play his hand over Hazard though, and whilst he may be forced to wait until the end of the season, a summer bidding war could be on the cards involving all the major players across Europe, with United, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona all in the mix.

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