Hazard credits Cole for £32m Chelsea deal


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Chelsea last night confirmed that they had finalised an agreement to sign Eden Hazard from Lille.

The talented Belgian forward, 21, passed a medical yesterday and agreed personal terms. He will complete his move in July, when the Chelsea squad assemble for pre-season training. He is reported to have moved for £32m, the second-most expensive signing in Chelsea history, behind £50m Fernando Torres. "I'm delighted to finally arrive here. It's a wonderful club and I can't wait to get started."

Hazard also confirmed that the former Chelsea player Joe Cole, who was on loan at Lille this season, played a role in convincing him to sign for the European champions. "I spoke to Joe Cole and what he said above all was that Chelsea was the right club for me," Hazard said. "As somebody who loves the club himself, he said he could really see me in the shirt, so when I see him next I'll tell him he was right."

Hazard had been linked with a number of clubs, including Manchester City and Manchester United but explained his choice. "It's a dream come true for me," he said. "I want to play as many games as possible, score as many goals as possible and win a place in the hearts of the supporters. It's true that initially there were a number of clubs in for me but when Chelsea won the Champions League I thought, 'why not?'"