29th May, 2012
Lille’s Belgian international playmaker Eden Hazard announced on Monday he had signed for Champions League winners Chelsea in preference to Premier League champions Manchester City and runners-up Manchester United.
AFP reports that the fee is reported to be 40m euros with Hazard signing a five year contract and breaks the record for a Belgian footballer’s transfer with Marouane Fellaini’s to Everton of 20m in 2008 being the previous mark.
The 21-year-old – who was voted Ligue 1 Players’ Player of the Year for the second successive year recently – had previously said he would definitely sign for one of the Manchester clubs without specifying which one.
“I’m signing for the Champion’s League winner,” AFP claimed he tweeted.
Hazard, capped 27 times and scorer of two goals, was inspirational when Lille won the domestic double in 2011 and though they failed to defend their titles this season, he nonetheless enjoyed a successful season, scoring 17 goals and providing 15 assists.
Hazard is due to play against several of his new teammates in Saturday’s friendly with England at Wembley.