Manchester City prepared to risk losing Eden Hazard to Chelsea over his £200,000 a week wage demands
MANCHESTER City are prepared to risk missing out on £30million target Eden Hazard by refusing to meet his wage demands.
Belgian playmaker Hazard confirmed that he would leave Lille this summer after scoring a hat-trick during a 4-1 win against Nancy on Sunday in his final game for the club.
But despite being in pole position to sign the 21 year-old, who is also a target of Chelsea and Manchester United, City have made it clear to Hazard and his advisers that they will not meet his salary demands, which are understood to be around £200,000 a week. Instead they are prepared to offer around £110,000 a week.
The higher figure would move the Belgium international alongside Yaya Touré and Carlos Tévez as City’s top earners, but while that pair arrived as proven performers from Barcelona and United respectively, Hazard’s reputation is built on his performances in the French league.
As a result, senior figures at the Etihad Stadium have no intention of sanctioning a pay deal which would mean he earned more than Sergio Agüero, David Silva and the club captain, Vincent Kompany.
City accept that Chelsea’s interest in Hazard is genuine and the player himself admitted on Sunday that the Stamford Bridge club’s new status as European champions made them an attractive proposition.
However, with City conscious of the need to move towards complying with Uefa’s incoming Financial Fair Play regulations, they are determined to adopt a sustainable approach in the transfer market.
The exorbitant salaries paid to the likes of Tévez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré when they signed in 2009 are viewed as thing of the past. City are now confident that their success on the pitch means that they no longer have to pay excessive wages to tempt players.
City’s Abu Dhabi power brokers will not succumb to the pressure being applied by the Hazard camp and are ready to call their bluff by holding firm should Chelsea edge closer to signing the player.
And while United’s interest in Hazard remains, the Old Trafford club are also understood to be unwilling to consider the player’s financial requirements.
United have distanced themselves from a hoax website which carried a statement claiming that a deal had been struck with Lille for Hazard.
The phoney website is understood to have been set up in Ireland at the weekend and United insist that it is not connected to the club.