DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Beneditk Hoewedes (R) of Germany battles for the ball with Eden Hazard of Belgium during the UEFA EURO 2012 Group A qualifying match between Germany and Belgium at Esprit Arena on October 11, 2011 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
It sounds as though the long and beautiful song of the Eden Hazard transfer saga is set to last another six months. Lille have made no secret of the fact that they'll have to sell their star winger at some point in the near future, but they've insisted for a while now that it's not going to happen until summer and despite everyone's best hopes that sounds like it's exactly what will happen.
Hazard remains a near-perfect option for Chelsea in the transfer market, but one suspects that they're going to face some stiff competition from other clubs at the end of the season. Manchester United and Arsenal are frequently named in conjunction with the impressive 21-year-old, but those rumours seem unlikely considering that United are actually built entirely of wingers and Arsenal never spend that sort of money.
At this point I'd be worried about Manchester City, for whom Samir Nasri has been less than impressive, and the two big La Liga sides, who have the money and may well have the need with their ace wingers (Angel di Maria and Alexis Sanchez) so frequently injured. I don't think any of those teams would have been in the running for a winter Hazard bid, and that's probably why LOSC are saying that they'll wait until summer - either they'll get a bidding war for his services after the season or they'll cause any interested parties to up their big markedly before the close of the January window.
I don't think that this is necessarily the end of the Hazard-to-Chelsea-in-January story, because this could easily be a negotiation tactic, but the quotes coming out of the club sure don't raise any hopes. Ah well.