Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen has confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson is targeting Eden Hazard, with the Dutchman admitting that the manager believes the playmaker is 'a special talent'.

When it comes to transfer speculation, Hazard has been high on the list for many clubs in recent transfer windows.

The 21 year old is already showing great talent for his age at Lille, and expressed excitement last month at the prospect of United making an offer.

"Of course, this a club that excites anyone," he said at the time.

"For now my focus is on Lille but yes, it is a pleasure to be watched by one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best."

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has been confirmed as a target for Manchester United.

And now Meulensteen has revealed that Ferguson personally wanted to see the youngster play, to assess whether he might be good enough to join United, whether it be this summer or in the long-term future.

"The manager wanted to see Hazard," Meulensteen told Voetbal International, via ESPN. "That shows that he thinks he's an interesting player. We've spoken a lot about him.

"It's important for a club to keep refreshing the squad. Hazard is a special talent, but concluding these things always takes a while. For example, we were tracking David de Gea for a long time before we signed him.

"Ferguson wants to know the player's character, and because of that he makes personal trips to watch them. Hazard is the main man at Lille and so Ferguson wanted to see if that had had an influence on him."

An attacking midfielder is high on United's transfer wishlist for the summer, and though Paul Scholes has come back from retirement and is shining for the club, at some point the 37 year old will need to be replaced.

Shinji Kagawa, Ganso and Wesley Sneijder have also been connected with the club in preparation for June, but Ferguson is often tight-lipped when discussing which players he likes.

Though last summer Sneijder in particular was a reported target for United, Ferguson insisted that a midfielder wasn't needed to replace the outgoing Scholes.

That assertion would appear to have been proven wrong though with the return of the England international at the start of the year.