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Chelsea FC Transfer Rumours: Eden Hazard Chase?

Yesterday many outlets were reporting that 'a source' had let the world know that Chelsea FC had made an approach to Lille for Belgian winger Eden Hazard, and that Hazard was keen on joining the Blues. We didn't talk about it here because the media's anonymous sources frankly aren't credible enough to write anything up on, but I think in general, the rumour made sense*. Chelsea are in dire need of young, top-class wide players, and Hazard is one of them. I'd rate him as a notch below Alexis Sanchez with a much cooler surname, and I'd hope Chelsea do make a run for him in the summer. He'd into fit our squad pretty well.

*Except for the fact that everyone's pretty sure Hazard would prefer to go to Arsenal, which I'm choosing to ignore because 'common knowledge' isn't much better than 'a source.'

Anyway, the rumour that Chelsea had actually made an approach for the 20 year-old seems like complete nonsense now, thanks to a quote from Lille's director, Frederic Paquet:

If Chelsea have contacted Eden, we are officially offended. This is not the way things are done. It's been three years since Eden Hazard started interesting in the major European clubs. But nobody is selling. We are presently discussing with Eden how to go about conducting a long joint project. But maybe our message was not strong enough. We want to clarify it once again.

Seems clear enough to me. Chelsea have not made an official approach for the player, and if they've made an unofficial approach to Hazard himself, Lille are going to pretty pissed off. My feeling is that this statement was born out of yesterday's rumour, and nothing has actually happened - Lille won't be officially angry until it turns out that Chelsea have indeed been tapping up Hazard. Considering the furore over Gael Kakuta a couple of years ago, I just don't see that ever happening.

This isn't to say that their interest in Hazard is fabricated, of course. I'd be shocked if he wasn't on the summer transfer wishlist. I'm just rather massively unconvinced that any real discussions have happened yet. Oh, yeah, and I've seen a couple of people omit the 'if' in their quotes of Mr. Paquet, which would ... change the tone of the message. Let's leave that 'if' in there for now!

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