Emirates Stadium boss set to land long term target in the next transfer window.
Arsenal came painfully close to completing a €32m (£28m) deal to sign Eden Hazard on deadline day but appear to have been given a red light to reopen negotiations in January. Respected source France Football states that Lille were happy with the bid offered by the North London club but felt they had to turn down the move because they didn’t have sufficient time to bring in a replacement for their prized asset.
This has led to some believing that Arsene Wenger will return to the Ligue 1 side in January and make the same offer and will hope for it to be accepted by the French champions, a possibility which of course becomes all the more likely if Lille have failed to negotiate the Champions League group stage.
This speculation is only assisted by the fact that Yossi Benayoun was drafted in on a loan deal and not a permanent move which would suggest that Wenger very much sees Hazard as a future Gunners signing.
Having seen crucial players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leave during the transfer window it seems clear that the signing of Benayoun and Everton man Mikel Arteta may not be seen as like for like replacements, not least because at 30 and 29 respectively, neither player can really be seen as long term prospects, especially in an Arsenal squad that is of course renowned for his trusting to youth.
The fact that Lille were willing in theory to do business with the club is in itself a tad surprising seeing as the North London club effectively nabbed South Korean captain Chu Young-Park from under the French side’s noses. The two clubs are reportedly still on good terms, a fact evidenced by the fact that club’s newly built Grand Stade Lille Métropole stadium will be inaugurated by a match between the two sides in 2012.
Therefore if Lille do not manage to negotiate a path through their Champions League group, which includes Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow and Trabzonspor, then it could well lead to Wenger snapping up the 20 year old playmaker early next year.