Manchester United see Belgian ace as the new Ryan Giggs
MANCHESTER UNITED believe they have found the new Ryan Giggs in teenage Belgian star Eden Hazard.
But Sir Alex Ferguson faces a tough battle to land the 19-year-old wing star who plays for French side Lille – because Jose Mourinho wants to take £20million-rated Hazard to Real Madrid.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona and Inter Milan are also on Hazard’s trail but United’s interest is strong with Ferguson’s European scouts virtually ever-present at Lille games this season.
Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane has recommended Hazard to his former club but Ferguson’s track record of giving gifted youngsters a chance at Old Trafford is seen as a key component of United’s efforts to sign Hazard. He is the only star ever to have won the French Young Player of the Year trophy twice and is out of contract in 2012, but Lille know they will be unlikely to hold on to the winger beyond next summer.
Filling Giggs’ boots has become a priority for Fergie with United accepting that the Wales legend, 37, is close to the end of a glittering career.
Giggs has been at the top for 20 years, making him the most decorated British footballer ever with 11 Premier League titles, two Champions League winners’ medals, four FA Cups, four League Cups as well as a FIFA World Club Cup and UEFA Super Cup honours.
Ferguson hopes he can get one more season out of Giggs. But the United boss knows he must look to the future – and Hazard is the most exciting of all the young wingers the club have watched recently.
Hazard is quick and can score and his creativity, speed, and technical ability have earned critical acclaim, with some even drawing comparisons to FIFA World Player of the Year winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But not everyone is convinced by Hazard, with Belgian team boss Georges Leekens and his assistant Marc Wilmots sparking a row with Lille earlier this season after criticising the teenager’s poor attitude.