Fergie's flying French visit

Lille playmaker Hazard rumoured to be United manager's target

Eden Hazard: Lille playmaker was watched by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson against Lille

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson paid a flying visit to France on Saturday evening to take in Lyon's home game against reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille.

Ferguson's side take on West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, but the Scot squeezed in a trip to Stade Gerland.

French television pictures showed Ferguson taking his seat before the game and then captured him yawning after Lisandro Lopez had scored Lyon's second goal.

Reports suggest that Lille playmaker Eden Hazard was the target of Ferguson's scouting trip as the United chief contemplates summer signings.


When asked about Ferguson's presence during a half-time interview, Hazard said: "I didn't know he was here. Maybe he's tired!"

Belgium international Hazard is among the most coveted young players in European football and has previously been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The 21-year-old is the reigning Ligue 1 Player of the Year and has previously admitted an interest in moving to the Premier League when he quits Lille.

Hazard is expected to change clubs at the end of the season and has in the past suggested he would be willing to play for the likes of Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur.

However, United could provide competition for the schemer's services as Ferguson maintains his recent policy of trying to recruit promising young players.