Arsenal consider bid for £26m-rated Lille playmaker Eden Hazard

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport
Lille's Eden Hazard
Hazard helped Lille secure a league and cup double in France last season

Lille midfielder Eden Hazard has emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal.

The 20-year-old Belgium international is under contract until 2015 with a reported value of £26m.

The Gunners are weighing up a bid for Hazard as they look to replace Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who is poised to join Manchester City.

Hazard was named Ligue 1 player of the year after Lille's league and cup double last season.

BBC Sport understands Arsenal have been monitoring Hazard closely and could make a move for the player before the transfer window shuts on 31 August.

But the French champions say they will rebuff any offer from the Gunners or any other club.

Lille general manager Frederic Paquet told BBC Sport: "Eden will not be leaving this season.

"We are aware of interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe but we are not prepared to sell.

"He is very happy here, he understands our project and wants to stay for at least another year."

Hazard has scored 23 goals in 123 club appearances and won 20 caps for his country.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen his midfield following the departure of captain Fabregas to Barcelona in a £35m deal.

Nasri is also set to leave the London club for Premier League rivals Manchester City.

The Gunners have begun the season poorly, collecting only one point from their opening two Premier League games.

After drawing at Newcastle on the opening day, they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

They are also attempting to make the first round proper of the Champions League.

They take a 1-0 lead into Wednesday's critical Champions League qualifying play-off second leg at Udinese.

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