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Arsenal FC face battle with Real Madrid CF to sign Eden Hazard in January

Crunch Sports Staff in Soccer 13 October 2011
Eden Hazard (credit: Ryu Voelkel)

Arsenal are preparing to launch a January bid for Lille playmaker Eden Hazard.

The 20-year-old is a target for both the Gunners and Spanish giants Real Madrid, with both clubs keen on luring the highly-rated youngster away from France next year.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is believed to have failed with a bid to sign Hazard during the summer, while reports in recent days have suggested that Jose Mourinho's side are edging closer to agreeing a deal with Lille.

And a move is likely to happen, although where and when remains to be seen.

His agent has refused to rule out a January move, with John Bico admitting to The Sun: "Arsene Wenger wanted Hazard but Lille said no to the sale last summer.

"Real Madrid have been watching too."

A report last week suggested Arsenal are ready to offer striker Marouane Chamakh to Lille in a bid to beat Real Madrid to Hazard's signature.

But Jose Mourinho's side are widely thought to be in pole position to sign the Belgium international.

Real Madrid director of football Zinedine Zidane has put Hazard at the top of list of potential transfer targets and is said to be preparing to go "all out" to convince the player to move to the Bernabeu.

Reports in Italy last week suggested that Los Blancos could be closing in on a deal for Hazard, with Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that the youngster has recently snubbed an approach from Inter Milan.

The rejection is said to have led to the Serie A side being convinced that the player has a pre-contract agreement to move to the Spanish capital next year.

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