Arsenal lose out as PSG bid £43.5m for Hazard

Oct 27, 2011
Bill Mann

Real Madrid and Chelsea were also in the running for Lille’s star playmaker – but Qatari cash counts

PARIS ST GERMAIN are planning an eye-popping offer of £43.5m to secure the services of Lille playmaker Eden Hazard. The startling claim is carried by French sports daily L’Equipe, who say that PSG will make their move in January to ensure they get their man ahead of their European rivals.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Spanish giants Real Madrid have all been linked with the gifted 20-year-old Belgian (above) in recent months but none are thought likely to match the alleged bid from PSG.

Having been taken over by a consortium of Qatari businessmen in the summer, PSG lost no time investing their newly-acquired wealth, buying Javier Pastore in a £34.5m summer deal from Palermo, with David Beckham a possible signing when his contract expires next month with LA Galaxy.

Hazard was allegedly close to signing for the Gunners in August but the deal collapsed when Lille decided they wanted to hang on to the player who inspired them to a domestic league and cup double last season. But every club has its price and, if L’Equipe is to be believed, Lille’s is £43.5m.

The Metro reports that Rio Ferdinand will be the target of an audacious offer from Roma when the New Year transfer window opens. The Italian club are struggling this season in Serie A and new boss Luis Enrique wants to bolster his back four.

Quite why he thinks the 32-year-old Manchester United central defender is the man to tighten things up isn’t known – unless perhaps Enrique missed last Sunday’s shenanigans at Old Trafford when Ferdy and friends shipped six to the Sky Blues.

Nonetheless the Metro claims that Roma will enlist the help of former England general manager Franco Baldini in their pursuit of Ferdinand, and the Italians are quietly confident that their man will jump at the chance of a new challenge.

The Metro also claims that Roma are after Carlos Tevez but The Guardian says the Brazilian club Corinthians still believe they are close to agreeing a deal for the Manchester City striker. The paper quotes club president Andres Sanchez telling reporters in Brazil: “Tevez is close to joining Corinthians, though many people do not believe it. Before the offer was €40m, now the figure is €18m.”

However, City don’t appear to share Corinthians’ confidence that a deal is imminent, with a club spokesman telling The Guardian: “No offer for Carlos will be considered unless it reflects true market value.”

Who knows if £15.6m constitutes ‘market value’ for a player who hasn’t kicked a ball in anger for five weeks and now carries a reputation for refusing to obey his manager’s instructions?

Finally, rumours that Chelsea are interested in Sebastian Giovinco have been given weight by the player’s agent, Andrea D’Amico. Talking to, D’Amico said: “It is no secret Roman Abramovich likes Sebastian Giovinco... [he] was impressed by Sebastian in 2008/09 when he faced the Blues in the Champions League with Juventus.”

Though the 24-year-old frontman now plays for Parma, Juventus still have money tied up in Giovinco and D’Amico claimed a deal with the Blues could be on the cards, saying:  “Obviously Chelsea would be appreciated as a destination, but at the moment there is absolutely nothing concrete in it... it depends on Parma, but first of all we’d have to see if there was an actual offer.”

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