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Justin Bieber inspires Southend

The Toe Poke

Meulensteen talks up Hazard

Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen has hailed Lille star Eden Hazard as a "special talent" as the club weigh up a bid for the Belgium international.

• Hazard excited by United talk
• Hazard keeps cool over City visit
• Redknapp fears rival Hazard bids

United are known to be interested in Hazard, 21, and Sir Alex Ferguson paid a visit to France last month to watch him in action in a 2-1 defeat to Lyon.

"The manager wanted to see Hazard," Meulensteen told Voetbal International. "That shows that he thinks he's an interesting player. We've spoken a lot about him.

"It's important for a club to keep refreshing the squad. Hazard is a special talent, but concluding these things always takes a while. For example, we were tracking David de Gea for a long time before we signed him.

"Ferguson wants to know the player's character, and because of that he makes personal trips to watch them. Hazard is the main man at Lille and so Ferguson wanted to see if that had had an influence on him."

Should they decide to make a bid, they will most likely face competition from a host of Premier League sides, while Bayern Munich have also been linked.


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