City lead United in Hazard chase

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Manchester City have emerged as favourites to sign £30m-rated Lille winger Eden Hazard, according to The Daily Telegraph.

City boss Roberto Mancini's offer of first-team football is believed to have tempted the Belgian winger, who has been heavily linked with both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in the past.

City's football development executive Patrick Vieira watched Hazard as Lille beat Paris St-Germain 2-1 at the weekend, as did United's chief scout Martin Ferguson. However, after leapfrogging United into pole position for the title, City also look to be in the driving seat to beat the Red Devils to Hazard's signature.

Speaking after the PSG game, Hazard confirmed that the English top flight remains his preferred destination.

"My objective is to go to the Premier League, because I have had my time in France," said Hazard.

"Maybe in the future I will return to France, but for now I am concentrating on finishing the season with Lille to the best of my ability and then going to England."

Last month Mancini claimed City would be the perfect destination for Hazard, but the Lille winger is highly sought after both in England and abroad. Hazard, who made his debut as a 16-year-old, alerted the interest of all the top European clubs when he signalled his intention to leave the French club earlier this season.

After climbing above United in the Premier League at just the right time, City now seem to have pipped United to the signing of one of Europe's hottest prospects as well.

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