Eden Hazard has been brilliant for rivals Chelsea this season but the 27-year-old winger could have been a Manchester United player if the club hadn’t turned down the chance to sign him due to agent fees.
United’s interest in Hazard dates back to his time in France with Lille, where he won Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France in 2010-11.
Before joining Chelsea in the summer of 2012, Hazard confirmed he was mulling over joining Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea.
He eventually joined Chelsea for £32million in early June 2012 with Manchester United signing Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund for £17million instead.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson blamed agents’ fees for Manchester United’s decision not to sign Eden Hazard in 2012.
“There is a borderline in terms of what you would think is a good signing for United,” Ferguson said at Kagawa and Nick Powell’s press conference unveiling in July 2012, according to Manchester Evening News.
“I see some values on players, like Hazard for instance. To me it was a lot of money. He’s a good player, but £34m?
“What we’re finding anyway, the climate for buying these top players – not just the transfer fees, the salaries, agents’ fees – is just getting ridiculous now. In the Hazard deal, Chelsea paid the agent £6m. The Nasri situation was the same. It’s all about what you think is value for a player.
“I am not envious of those deals at all. We placed a value on Hazard which was well below what they were talking about. So if it doesn’t work well we’re not worried about that. We think we’ve got good value in Kagawa.”