Arsene Wenger has revealed that he came close to signing Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard in the summer, but has accepted that the club were simply not be able to cope with the offer from Chelsea for the player. Arsenal were one of several clubs interested in the Belgian midfielder, who is regarded as one of the best talents in the world. He joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012 for a reported £ 35 million, while he is also believed to be earning around £ 160,000 per week. Arsenal have been very prudent in spending money over the last decade.
They finally opened the wallets with £ 42 million arrival of Mesut Ozil in the summer, but Wenger reckons that Hazard could have been the first big-money arrival at the club. The Frenchman says that he held talks with Hazard’s agent prior to the player’s move to Chelsea. Even though Arsenal were close to signing him, the offer from Chelsea proved irresistible for both Lille – the player’s former club – and the player himself. Wenger’s future is a major doubt as the manager is yet to sign the contract.
He could leave the club in the next few months with his contract running out. Wenger, though, has requested patience in this regard.
“Yes, I wanted to take him, I had his agent at my home but again the barrier was financial and Chelsea made an effort that I couldn’t make. He can be one of the players who grows into the Messi, Ronaldo stature if he continues to develop well. If I was to go somewhere then I think it would be in a different country because I am so much Arsenal that I would not like to coach anywhere else in England,” said Wenger about the failure to sign Eden Hazard.