Transfer news: Eden Hazard was convinced by Roman Abramovich to join Chelsea after Didier Drogba phoned Gervinho

The former Blues striker rang his Ivory Coast team-mate in order for the Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea to offer then-Lille midfielder Hazard the chance to triple his wages

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The Independent Football

Eden Hazard’s decision to join Chelsea was swayed by a phone call made by former Blues striker Didier Drogba to Gervinho, who was playing alongside Hazard at Lille at the time.

That is the claim made by Lille manager Rudi Garcia in his new autobiography, who believes that Hazard’s mind was made up when Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich promised to triple his wages if he chose Stamford Bridge as his preferred destination.

Garcia claims that Drogba rang his Ivory Coast team-mate, asking whether the Belgian midfielder was with him. “Yes, He is here,” Gervinho replied, before Abramovich interrupted the conversation to make the staggering offer.

“I don't know how much you earn at Lille, but I will triple your salary,” the Russian billionaire is alleged to have told Hazard, who kept the Premier League in limbo with his decision making being made public on Twitter before confirming his move.


Hazard has been in terrific form this season, responding to Jose Mourinho’s challenge for him to become one of the best players in the world. He starred in Chelsea’s recent 1-0 victory over title rivals Manchester City, as well as scoring a hat-trick in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Newcastle.

Speaking to L’Equipe in 2012 shortly after the £32m switch, Hazard said: “We'll see in three or four years, if I've lifted trophies.

“I came (to Chelsea) because I knew I would be playing a lot of games. I was successful last season.

“I have made plenty of friends and people have come to appreciate me straight away.”

In the same interview, Hazard also compared his potential to the current levels of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, arguably the two best players in the world. It is something that he has spoken of recently, and admitted last week that he needs to shed his “young” tag before he can be considered on the same level as the best in the world.

“I'm much younger than them,” admitted 23-year-old Hazard. “They have won things that I haven't. But I'm as good as they were at my age. If I want to be like them I need to win trophies

“I don't care what other people think about me, frankly. Ronaldo and Messi, the two best players in the world, are loved and hated. That's the way it is.”