• Premier League

Hazard considered United before Abramovich talks

ESPN staff
June 5, 2012
Eden Hazard turned down Manchester United in favour of joining Chelsea © Getty Images

Eden Hazard has revealed he was in "advanced" talks with Manchester United before opting to join Chelsea following discussions with Blues' owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea confirmed the signing of Hazard, 21, from Lille on Monday in a deal reportedly worth around £32 million following months of conjecture over the playmaker's future.

Hazard had been linked with United and their rivals City before he recently revealed he was heading to Stamford Bridge, where he believes he will be rewarded with more playing time.

He told French radio station RMC: "I've always said I wanted to play in England. There was a struggle between Chelsea and United, but according to me Chelsea has the best project.

"I was in advanced contact with both clubs and I spoke to both coaches. I want to be playing in the Champions League every year.

"When they won the Champions League, I told myself: 'Why not Chelsea?' The team is young and I have a better chance to play there.

"At 21, Real Madrid or Barcelona would have been more difficult for me. If I play well enough at Chelsea, I could win my place in the starting team and my priority is to play."

He added: "I spoke with Abramovich, he is very simple and loves football. We were on the same wavelength, he wants to confirm Chelsea's position at the top. Chelsea have made a good investment for me but I did not put any pressure on them."

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