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

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.”

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?