Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed the Citizens are planning a move for Lille's Belgian ace Eden Hazard in the summer. Mancini said he has been monitoring the youngster for a long time and City would be the best possible choice for the playmaker.
"I like Hazard a lot. He's a good player, he's young and he would do great things in our team. Given his technical qualities, City would be the perfect destination for him. I know him and have been following him for a long time. He's a player a lot of teams want," ESPN quoted Mancini as saying.
According to an earlier IBTimes UK report, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed his interested in signing Hazard. The Red Devils' manager also confirmed he travelled to France to watch the player in action in Lille's match against Lyon last month.
"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," Ferguson said.
City will now go head-to-head with rivals United for the 21 year old's signature when the transfer window opens.
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. Several European giants including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan were linked to the Belgian but the player stated earlier this year that he was keen on a move to England this summer.
Hazard's availability is expected to trigger a bidding war among league heavyweights, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs, in addition to the two Manchester clubs all having expressed their interest in the player. Meanwhile, City are also tracking highly rated Argentine defender Lisandro Magallan, according to Daily Mail.
The 18 year old plays for Argentina second division side Gimnasia La Plata and City scout Attilio Lombardo has recommended the centre-back to Mancini. It is understood Gimnasia will not put a hefty price-tag on Magallan, due to his inexperience in the first team.