Lille have reacted furiously at reports that Chelsea tapped up their starlet Eden Hazard, Mirror Football claims.
Many of Europe’s top clubs are tracking the 20-year-old, but Lille’s director general Frederic Paquet claims they have had no direct enquiry concerning midfielder’s availability.
“If Chelsea have contacted Eden then we are officially offended as this is not the way things are done,” he told the French press.
“We are presently discussing with Eden how to go about conducting a long joint project. Maybe our message was not strong enough – we want to clarify it once again.”
Gunners scout targeted.
Roman Abravomich’s blue revival looks set to continue, with news the Russian billionaire is targeting Arsenal’s chief scout Steve Rowley, according to the Mail Online.
Rowley – responsible for bringing Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen to north London – is unrivalled in England, and Chelsea are lining him up to replace director of football Frank Arnesen, who leaves this summer.
In the same report, Marco van Basten was also mentioned top of the Blues hit-list to replace Carlo Ancelotti, if Chelsea’s poor form continues and the Italian is shown the door.
Following a two-year absence after leaving Ajax, Van Basten confirmed he is ready to return: “I am thinking about a nice big club abroad.” He added. “I have been manager of the national team and Ajax and once you’ve done those jobs it’s awkward to manage another club in Holland.”
Chelsea’s new centre-back David Luiz spoke of relief when his move finally happened, but he explained there were times he thought it wouldn’t materialise last month.
Benfica’s stubbornness – with to regards to the transfer fee – continually threatened to scupper the Brazilians dream move, but a £23m deal was eventually thrashed out.
“I was concerned that everyone was leaving it until the last minute, but I never lost faith I would sign for Chelsea,” he told Sky Sports.
“I have seen a lot of the Premier league on TV and I understand it’s a lot faster and more physical than I was used to in Brazil and Portugal,” he continued. “But football is a physical game and if I didn’t like that side of it I would be playing tennis!”