Instead of playing for the Champions of England, Eden Hazard preferred to play for the European Champions. It might sound shocking, but a big part of why the Belgian international transfer to Manchester City fell was money. Money Chelsea eventually were willing to pay, bringing the hottest young talent in Europe to Stamford Bridge.
It’s been a long courtship period for Hazard with the Premier League. For a short while it was about every big club in Europe, but when Hazard announced midway through the season that he’s done with France, the Premier League became the only destination for the 21 year old.
Hazard talked himself up and his 20 goals and 15 assists help back up that talk. Arrogant or not, Hazard is simply a brilliant player, who kept Lille in contention for the title after crucial departures in the summer that might have crippled the team. There are few to argue that at such a young age he is the best player in France.
Hazard seemed to be heading the Manchester way, seen looking for houses in the city. After proclaiming he’ll be wearing blue next season, it looked like United were out of the race. Only Chelsea and City, but can anyone really compete with Manchester City, especially that they have a title to boost their reputation?
Apparently, yes. Roman Abramovich is personally creating a ‘sexy’ kind of football team for whoever gets the Chelsea manager job next season. Fernando Torres has been promised the starting striker job, while Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin will create a trio of attacking midfielders behind him. What does that mean from Frank Lampard? It remains to be seen.
Hazard was closer to City, but demanding nearly £200,000 a week plus the incredible demand to give £6 million to his agent, John Bico pulled City out of the races. The richest club in the world? Maybe, but even gazillionaires from the Gulf have their limitations or principles when it comes to dealing with 21 year old prima donnas.
No such thing for Chelsea. Abramovich wants Chelsea to be back in the thick of it when it comes to a Premier League title challenge, but it seems he’s planning on showing some more style to go along with achievements and trophies this time. Something from Andre Villas-Boas did rub off on the man it seems.
Hazard’s transfer will cost £32 million, making him the first big signing of the summer, before we’re even in June. Although the rumor mills aren’t suggesting on anything huge this time around, when rich and ambitious clubs see huge amounts of cash flying around it creates an appetite. Good Euro performances should do that too.