Sir Alex Ferguson confirms Eden Hazard interest

Sir Alex confirms Hazard interest as United boss promises to continue building with youth

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

22:06 GMT, 23 April 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 23 April 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Manchester United's interest in Lille midfielder Eden Hazard.

The United manager watched the 21-year-old against Lyon earlier this month and said: 'I was at the game and watched Hazard.

'He is a very good player and has a lot of qualities. He is particularly fast over the first 10 yards.'

Manchester City and Spurs are also keen.

Hazard warning: Ferguson has confirmed that he is interested in signing the Lille star

Hazard warning: Ferguson has confirmed that he is interested in signing the Lille star

The United boss has also expressed his admiration for France coach Laurent Blanc.

The former stylish defender spend two seasons at Old Trafford a decade ago as his playing career was coming to an end.

Blanc is now forging an impressive reputation for himself as a coach. After winning the French league with Bordeaux, Blanc has gone on to revive the fortunes of the France team following their calamitous performance at the last World Cup.

Yet, so far, Blanc has refused to commit his future beyond this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine and his name is starting to get linked with many of the major jobs, including Chelsea.

Blanc has also been mentioned as a potential replacement for Ferguson at some point, although the Scot has said many times there is no immediate prospect of him standing down.

United front: Hazard could be joining Old Trafford at some stage in the coming summer

United front: Hazard could be joining Old Trafford at some stage in the coming summer

However, it is clear that Ferguson
admires the work Blanc has done with France and, speaking to French
radio station RMC Sport about the 46-year-old, the United boss emphsised
why he feels the one-time central defender has been such a success.

'The France team is more balanced and has become a winning team again,' he said. 'As in 1998, it has established a balance between young and experienced players.

'When Laurent played in Manchester he followed our training methods very carefully. That's very intelligent and obviously he has qualities as a coach because he made Les Bleus a winning team again.'

High praise: Ferguson has credited Blanc with the improvement in France's fortunes

High praise: Ferguson has credited Blanc with the improvement in France's fortunes

Blanc has also successfully
reintroduced United full-back Patrice Evra into the fold following the
five-match ban he received for his part in the South African mutiny,
when France went on strike in protest at the coaching methods of coach
Raymond Domenech.

'I spoke with Patrice at the time,' said Ferguson. 'He suffered greatly. Unfairly in my opinion.

Lightning: Fergie has noted Hazard's speed over short distances

Lightning: Fergie has noted Hazard's speed over short distances

'He
was the spokesman for a group and the views he expressed were not only
his personal ones. But he was the one who got punished.

'He is very happy now though, and particularly with Laurent as the coach.'

Ferguson evidently has much on his plate
at the minute following that stunning defensive collapse by his team
against Everton yesterday.

By his own admission, the 4-4 draw has turned next Monday's Manchester derby into a Barclays Premier League title decider, one that he denies pits passion against money.

'That's not really accurate,' he said. 'I don't agree with that. It's true that Manchester City became rich in a pretty incredible way, but it's not the fact that there is a new owner and new ambitions which necessarily change things.

'The difference is perhaps that we're trying to build with youth.'

It is part of the job Ferguson loves,
as are showpiece occasions like Monday, when the eyes of the world will
be on the Etihad Stadium.

'Being
Manchester United manager is exhausting work, that requires a lot of
energy,' he said. 'But it is the club that meets all my expectations and
allows me to meet all the challenges.

'There is a stable family atmosphere. In short, I thrive there.'