Arsenal lead all-star quintet in £35m winger race


A quintet of Premier League clubs are tracking the progress of Lille winger Eden Hazard, according to reports.

The Belgian flyer admitted earlier this season that this terms old be last with the Ligue 1 outfit, who finished bottom of their Champions League group.

The Evening Standard are reporting that both Arsenal and Chelsea were present at Lille clash with Paris St Germain at the weekend, and are considering including Hazard in their transfer plans for next season.

Reports also suggested that representatives from both Liverpool and Manchester United were present at the game.

Meanwhile talkSPORT are reporting that Manchester City are ready to jump the queue and bid for the sought after winger, despite the interest from their rivals.

Arsenal's interest in Hazard has been the strongest of the quintet, with the club losing out on a deal for the 20-year-old on deadline day of the summer window.

Preceding Hazard's revelation that he wanted to leave Lille, Chelsea were immediately linked with a move, which he was reportedly ready to snub in favour of a move to Real Madrid.

Liverpool, previously the leader in the race for Hazard, were linked with a swap deal with Joe Cole, who joined Lille on loan until the end of the season.

The link between the Belgian international and United has been less strong, but their recent scouting mission leaves them in the hunt.

City's will reportedly make a bid of £30 million for Hazard, but are willing to loan him back to France upon the completion of the deal.

Any deal being struck is perhaps dependent on the club concerned being involved in next season's Champions League, and with four places available, one of those clubs linked are likely to be disappointed in their pursuit of the coveted winger.

While City and United will be feeling good about their chances of reaching next season's competition, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are likely to be fighting it out to the death for the fourth spot.

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