Chelsea face a fight in their pursuit to sign Eden Hazard, with Manchester City confirming that they would be interested in bringing the playmaker to the Emirates in the summer.
After boasting top performances for Ligue 1 outfit Lille, and scoring 8 goals in 27 appearances for the side, Hazard was a big target for a number of European clubs in the January transfer window.
But while the 21 year old insisted he would stay at his current club until summer, he has been forthcoming about considering a move to England if the right offer were made.
On the possibility of a January move, Hazard told French TV: "It's impossible that I will leave now. I still have lots of things to do with Lille, we could win one or two trophies.
"After thinking about my next move, I'm leaning towards England. It's a style of play that suits me and it's there that you can learn the most. I want to play for a big club, but also one where I will play every week.
"I've played more than 100 games in Ligue 1 so I would prefer to go abroad. I want to discover something new and playing abroad is a conscious decision."
Meanwhile, Chelsea have been monitoring the star on regular occasions, and Blues scout Guy Hillion confirmed as much today.
"I must have watched Hazard more than 20 times for Chelsea. I've written a 100 per cent positive report every time," he told The Sun.
"If Eden joins a big European club he will get even stronger."
And Mancini has also confirmed interest in Hazard, with Sky Sports reporting the City Manager saying: "Hazard has an enormous level of talent and is able to play at the maximum level.
"But we know there is interest from the big European clubs and any deal will not be easy."
The Independent claims that Hazard holds a £33 million release clause in his contract, and both Chelsea and Manchester City would be very willing to pay that sort of money if they like a player enough.
And with all the speculation already surrounding Hazard, he will no doubt be a big talking point in the lead up to the summer.
2012 Eden Hazard Highlights: