Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard has revealed why he turned down a move to Manchester United and chose Chelsea instead.
The 21-year-old was arguably the most sought-after attacking youngster in Europe after having two magnificent seasons Ligue 1, where he was voted Player of the Year twice in succession.
Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and Manchester City were keen to sign the former Lille star, who eventually preferred a move to Stamford Bridge as he felt they had the "best project" and he could feature more for the Blues as the team is young.
"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," the Telegraph quoted Hazard as saying.
"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 pointed out.
Hazard added that former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole was also an influence behind his decision. The player said that his conversations with Cole, who spent last season on loan at Lille, convinced him to opt for the west London club, over other suitors.
"I spoke to Joe Cole and what he said above all was that Chelsea was the right club for me. As somebody who loves the club himself, he said he could really see me in the shirt, so when I see him next I'll tell him he was right," the midfielder told the club's website.
Hazard agreed personal terms with the club and passed a medical on Monday. He will join the club in July when the players return for pre-season training.
"It's a dream come true for me. I can't wait to get started and for the season to start so I can meet my new teammates, the supporters and all the people who are involved. I want to play as many games as possible, score as many goals as possible and win a place in the hearts of the supporters," the player added.
Hazard will officially become a Chelsea player when the transfer window opens on July 1. The Belgian becomes the Blues' second recruit of the summer after the signing of Werder Bremen winger Marko Marin a month back.