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Hazard set to create Premier League summer scramble

| 16.02.2011

Chelsea may be all but out of the Premier League title race this season, but spending £21m in the summer on Belgian wonderkid Eden Hazard could ensure they are firm challengers again during the next campaign.

A draw at Fulham in their last game has resulted in Chelsea’s Premier League odds drifting to 12/1 and they now have 12 points to make up on leaders Manchester United with just 12 games of the season remaining.

Fernando Torres and David Luiz arrived at Stamford Bridge in January and Chelsea may already be considering further summer recruits to help improve their weak squad.

Hazard has attracted attention from a number of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, with Arsenal and Manchester United also heavily linked with the Lille playmaker.

Lille have refused to sell as yet, but it is now believed that they would consider selling their star asset if an offer of £21m was received.

Manager Rudi Garcia told French journalists: “In the end of the season if someone is interested [in making a bid] we will study it and if not, nothing happens.

“Hazard is a great asset to this club.”

Out of all of the interested parties, Chelsea could perhaps do with Hazard the most, as the decision to switch to two strikers to start Torres means that they require someone to play at the tip of a midfield diamond.

However, a lack of creativity in the middle of the park has been one of the criticisms thrown at Manchester United this season as they continue to heavily rely on the industry of 36-year-old Paul Scholes.

Scholes and fellow veteran Ryan Giggs have rolled back the years again this season and have helped Manchester United move into 4/9 in the Premier League betting to win the title.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.