Chelsea confirm signing of Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard from Lille

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 

 

 

Eden Hazard, pictured above holding off England's Joleon Lescott, had a quiet game during the international friendly last weekend


 

European champions Chelsea have completed a deal to sign midfielder Eden Hazard from French club Lille for a reported £32.5 million fee.

The 21-year old Belgium international, who played in the 1-0 defeat to England at Wembley on Saturday, has agreed personal terms and passed a medical with the Blues to join the Premier League club in due course. He is set to receive a weekly wage of around £170,000 although the length of his contract is as yet unknown.

Hazard said after signing the contract: "When they won the Champions League I told myself, 'Why not Chelsea?, there was a struggle between Chelsea and Manchester United in terms of where to go but, for me, Chelsea has the best project and is a better vision for succeeding in the future. It's a wonderful club with a great history and I cannot wait to get started. The Chelsea team is young and I have a better chance to play there. If I play well enough at Chelsea, I could win my place in the starting team."

Playmaker Hazard won the league and cup double with Lille in 2010-11 and, in his final season at the Ligue 1 club, he scored 21 goals in 48 games. He announced on Twitter last month that he would be joining "the Champions League winners" after his future was anticipated by many with the attacking midfielder interesting many parties including Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.  

Hazard, who has represented Belgium at Under 17 and Under 19 level, signed off from the French side by scoring a hat-trick in his final Ligue 1 game for the club against Nancy last month while he has 28 caps for his country to date netting only twice. He made 147 appearances for the Lille first team in seven years at the club adding an impressive 36 goals to his game, while also featuring in the French league team of the year three times.

He becomes the club's second major summer signing since the January transfer window after Germany international Marko Marin agreed to join the Stamford Bridge club.

 

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