“Maybe I’ll go to Tottenham. It’s a great English club. I said I would go to England” – Eden Hazard on Belgian TV RTBF this evening.
We may be in the middle of February but France Football have claimed this evening that Spurs have pulled off a transfer coup as Lille starlet Eden Hazard has decided to join the Lilywhites.
(The quote above was then sourced around an hour after the story broke.)
According to well respected France Football journalist Vincent Villa, Hazard has “set his sights” on joining Tottenham and agreed personal terms with the north London side.
Hazard recently voiced his desire to join a Premier League club and is confident of Spurs playing in the Champions League next season despite interest from Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Tottenham’s great North London rivals Arsenal had long been considered favourites to secure Hazard with former Lille forward Gervinho at the club and Arsene Wenger’s strong scouting network in France’s Ligue 1.
Earlier this month, Wenger told La Derniere Heure “I like Eden Hazard a lot, and for many reasons. His creative ability, his talent for unbalancing opponents, his vision of the game, and his consummate skill in making the final pass all make him an in-demand player. Hazard has what it takes to play for a top-level club, and Arsenal are a top-level club.”
The one stumbling block, according to Vincent Villa, is Hazard’s 40 million euro release clause which will likely be a source of intense negotiation for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
The Tottenham supremo may also be hoping to keep Harry Redknapp at Tottenham with the promise of big name signings. It is also likely that Redknapp scouted Hazard in action last month, in Lille’s defeat to Marseille, when the media were convinced ‘Arry was watching OM striker Loic Remy.
This season, Hazard has notched 9 goals in 22 appearances for Lille including a fine free-kick in a crazy 4-5 defeat to Bordeaux on Sunday – video here.
The 2010/2011 campaign was Hazard’s breakthrough year when he was named the best player in Ligue 1 as Lille won the title. Spurs fans will no doubt be salivating at the thought of yet another bright young attacking player lighting up White Hart Lane.