Man City

Prem rivals ready to challenge United for Belgian star

Manchester City and Tottenham are set to rival Manchester United in the race to sign Lille star Eden Hazard during the summer the Daily Mail understands.

The much sought after Belgian international has declared his intention to leave the Ligue 1 side at the end of this season putting several of Europe’s elite clubs on red alert as they prepare to scramble for his signature.

President Michel Seydoux acknowledged that the player was keen to depart the Stade Lille Metropole: “Eden wants a European experience outside France. We cannot hold him.”

Earlier in the week Hazard seemed to indicate he was interested in a move to Old Trafford after it emerged Sir Alex Ferguson personally scouted him last month as he steps up his search for Paul Scholes’ long-term successor.

United’s confidence over completing a deal has now wavered after it became apparent neighbours City have thrown their hat into the ring to sign the 21-year-old.

Boss Roberto Mancini is eager to bring the talented playmaker to the Etihad Stadium where the intends to make him a central part a devastating attacking triumvirate containing David Silva and Sergio Aguero.

He sees the trio as the key to wrestling the Premier League trophy away from the Red Devils and also delivering the Champions League to the blue half of Manchester.

Tottenham have also expressed their interest with manager Harry Redknapp prepared to offer Sebastien Bassong and Giovani dos Santos in a cash plus player deal.

However it’s unlikely Lille will settle for anything other then £30 million for Hazard making it virtually impossible for Spurs to compete with their domestic rivals.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and both Milan clubs are all keeping tabs on his situation but are likely to make their move once the current campaign reaches it’s conclusion.

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