Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is poised to enter the race to sign Lille's Eden Hazard after he watched the highly-rated playmaker in action in France on Sunday night.
Mancini made a personal scouting trip to watch the Belgium international score in Lille's 4-0 victory against Valenciennes.
Hazard has long been linked with moves to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United after both Harry Redknapp and Sir Alex Ferguson watched the player earlier in the season.
The Manchester United manager was in France last week to monitor Hazard, who has scored 12 goals in 28 appearances for Lille during the current campaign.
But City appear willing to match their Premier League rivals in the transfer market this summer and the Belgian admitted after the match that he knew Mancini was in the crowd.
"I was aware that Roberto Mancini was there," Hazard told French TV station Canal+ - via the Daily Mail.
"The [Lille] manager [Rudi Garcia] told me... I wasn't thinking about it. I was trying to play to the best of my abilities.
"We'll see later. I'm concentrating on Lille this season."
Hazard has previously admitted his head has been turned by interest from Manchester United but insists he is focusing on finishing the season strongly with Lille.
"Of course [Manchester United interests me]. This is a club that excites everyone, but for now my focus is on Lille," Hazard is quoted in La Voix du Nord.
"But yes, it is a pleasure to be watched by one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best."