Arsenal have emerged as rivals to Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City for the signing of Eden Hazard.
The Times is reporting that the Gunners are read to step in and try to convince the Lille playmaker that a move to Emirates Stadium would be more beneficial than an Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge switch.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini reportedly went to watch the Belgium international in a Ligue 1 game recently and the player admitted Champions League victory glory for Roman Abramovich’s side had made him “think” about a possible move to the Blues.
Hazard’s reported £32.3million price tag was widely thought to be enough to put Arsene Wenger off a move for him, but this report suggests the Arsenal board are ready to use funds up to £35million they had already put aside last summer for a possible move to buy Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze.
With the Red Devils’ interest already reported, as were possible offers from City and Chesea, Lille director, Frederic Paquet, had suggested a “fourth” club had appeared as a possible destination – The Times report claims it is Arsenal.
Wenger is desperate to keep captain Robin van Persie and could be hoping an unusual amount of spending in the transfer market for the Gunners will help convince the Dutchman to sign a new deal.
According to the report, Hazard is most concerned about getting regular first team football and his wage demands are far less than the £200,000-a-week many outlets had claimed.