Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he is keeping tabs on Lille playmaker Eden Hazard.
The Scot also confirmed that he had travelled to France to watch Hazard in action in Lille's match against Lyon last month to personally run the rule over the highly rated Belgian.
"I was at the game and watched Hazard. He is a very good player and has a lot of qualities. He is particularly fast over the first 10 yards," The Daily Mail quoted Ferguson as saying.
Hazard, arguably the most sought after young talent in European football, has been in sublime form for his club this season, with 16 goals and 13 assists in 33 league appearances so far.
The 21-year-old had earlier stated that he is keen on a move to England this summer and his availability is expected to trigger a bidding war among the Premier League heavyweights as United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all reportedly interested in the player.
Ferguson also expressed his admiration for France national team manager Laurent Blanc, who spent a couple of seasons at United as a player two decades ago.
Blanc has refused to commit his future to France beyond Euro 2012 and has been linked with a move to several clubs, including Chelsea.
"The France team is more balanced and has become a winning team again. As in 1998, it has established a balance between young and experienced players. When Laurent played in Manchester he followed our training methods very carefully. That's very intelligent and obviously he has qualities as a coach because he made Les Bleus a winning team again," Ferguson said.
United suffered a defensive collapse against Everton on Saturday as the match ended in a 4-4 draw and that result turned next week's Manchester derby into a potential title decider. And Ferguson denied that it will be a match that pits passion against money.
"That's not really accurate. I don't agree with that. It's true that Manchester City became rich in a pretty incredible way, but it's not the fact that there is a new owner and new ambitions which necessarily change things. The difference is perhaps that we're trying to build with youth," the manager opined.