x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Eden Hazard to leave Lille at the end of the season

The highly-regarded Belgian international midfielder says he will not play in France next season, creating interest from English and Italian clubs.

PARIS // Eden Hazard has triggered the attention of Europe's top clubs today when he said he will leave Lille, the French champions, at the end of the season.

The highly-regarded Belgian international midfielder, who was voted Ligue 1's best player by his peers last season, told the French sports daily L'Equipe he was playing his last season in France.

"I feel ready to make it to the next level in a great club," Hazard said. "I stayed in Lille this season because there were still things I had to work on, things to prove. But now, I'm ready."

In the close season, English Premier League sides Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City as well as Serie A club Inter Milan were reportedly interested in signing the Belgian.

Hazard was also linked with big spending Ligue 1 side Paris St Germain with French media saying the league leaders were ready to make a €50 million (Dh257m) offer in January, but Hazard ruled out the move.

"Paris is not for now. After France, I want to go abroad," he said.

Hazard, 20, has scored four and set up four goals in 12 Ligue 1 games this season.