Today French newspaper La Voix Du Nord reported on their website that French Champions Lille had approached Chelsea discussing the possibility of young Belgian winger Kevin De Bruyne moving to northern France next season.
The proposed move makes sense for both club and player – De Bruyne would gain valuable experience in one of Europe’s top leagues and would possibly play in Lille’s Champions League fixtures next season – but could have larger implications regarding their own Belgian winger. It has been well documented that the 21-year old will be leaving Ligue 1 this summer with the Premier League his preferred destination. With at least four or five English clubs ready to bid for the young star, using De Bruyne as leverage could be to Chelsea’s advantage.
In recent weeks both Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini have been to France to observe the forward in person, but Chelsea’s interest is also well known after reports they were close to a deal in January. Although the move never looked likely during the current season, Chelsea’s desire to bring France’s player of the season to Stamford Bridge was clear to see.
Any move from Lille for De Bruyne would surely include a deal seeing Hazard make the journey across the channel and see Chelsea beat both Manchester United, Manchester City and London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham for the coveted Belgian’s signature.
There is a long way to go before the transfer window opens, all the interested parties will have their say in where Hazard’s end up next season, but this is a very interesting development that puts Chelsea ahead of the chasing pack.