Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has revealed how Eden Hazard was once a major transfer target for the club before he moved to Chelsea. The Belgian winger signed for the West London outfit in 2012 for a fee of around £32 million. The transfer came just a few months after Tottenham had just failed to qualify for the Champions League even after finishing fourth in the table. Chelsea were able to secure qualification after having won the title in remarkable circumstances.
Back then, Hazard was one of the top transfer targets for big clubs around the world. The winger rumoured to be a target for the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona. However, Spurs seem to have come close to its signing the player after having meetings with him in a hotel according to Redknapp. A move of this kind would have smashed the club’s transfer record by a considerable margin. For this reason, negotiations were taking place long and hard through the summer. As quoted by Daily Star, he said:
“I went to Lille to watch Eden Hazard three times when I was Tottenham manager.
“And, although we spent several hours speaking to him at a hotel in Paris, it was mega money and we could not quite persuade him once Chelsea reached the Champions League – by somehow beating Barcelona and Bayern Munich to win it in 2012.”
Redknapp, though, could not do anything apart from conceding defeat in the race to sign the player after watching Chelsea enter into the negotiations. As the reigning Champions League winners, Redknapp says that the entry of the blues made a lot of difference. Apart from being able to pay in excess of £150,000 per week, the club were also able to come up with a £32 million transfer fee to Lille.
Spurs have a strict wage structure that does not allow them to go beyond £100,000 per week in terms of wages. It is a policy that stands until now and remains as one of the key elements that is causing a lot of unhappiness within Harry Kane’s camp.
Since joining Chelsea, Hazard has gone from strength to strength and he is now regarded as one of the world’s best wingers. He has already won the PFA Player of the Year title along with the Premier League and FA Cup medals. Redknapp says that he had no doubt in his mind about the little Belgian international going on to become one of the top players in world football.
When Chelsea signed him in 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that it was a great piece of business by the blues since Hazard had everything required to shine as a winger – pace, skill, and a great end product to his game. He was just 21 when he joined the blues. It is not surprising that he is one of the club’s most important players, and at 25, they still have several years of football left to enjoy from him.
Spurs did not miss Hazard next season, as Gareth Bale was fast rising up the football ladder.