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Hazard confirms Manchester move

ESPN staff
May 14, 2012 « Vieira eyes City cycle of success | Chartbeat test »

Lille winger Eden Hazard has confirmed he will be heading for Manchester, but refused to reveal whether he will be in City blue or United red.

The Belgium international has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Chelsea and Arsenal also believed to be in the hunt. Hazard confirmed at the weekend that he would be leaving Lille and in a further drip-feeding of information he has said he will be in Manchester.

Speaking at the awards gala after being named Ligue 1's Player of the Year, Hazard said: "I am going to Manchester. The decision will be taken soon."

City are believed to be leading the race to sign Hazard and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expects the Premier League champions to be big spenders this summer.

"We know City are going to spend fortunes, pay stupid money and silly salaries. We know that happens. We can't do anything about that," the Scot told MUTV.

Ferguson may feel his rivals will spend big, but City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak has hinted the days of lavish spending at the club may be a thing of the past.

City ended their 44-year wait for league glory when scoring twice in injury-time to beat QPR 3-2 and pip rivals Manchester United to the Premier League title.

Big-money signings Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany played their parts in the title success. Following up their league win and pushing on in Europe are next season's objectives and they have been linked with a host of big names. It is likely that manager Roberto Mancini will be an active player in the transfer market, but Khaldoon feels the current crop will be given the chance to repeat their heroics.

"We have a championship-winning team," Khaldoon said. "We are not starting from the same point as in other pre-seasons. We have had to improve in a very dramatic manner. Now we have a nucleus. To improve further we have to harness that nucleus."

There were fears that City had blown their chance when trailing QPR heading into injury-time and Khaldoon is keen to shed the ''typical City' tag.

"Everyone will have their own experience of what happened," he told the club's official website. "I don't think any league will be decided like that for many years to come.

"Maybe some people imagined it was 'typical City'. We are not typical City. We have destroyed that thought. This is not a team that is going to lie down. Now we want to forget about 'typical City'.

"This club wants to win more than anything and will fight for that until the last kick of the game."

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