Chelsea are highly interested in £40-million-rated Lille winger Eden Hazard according to the French side's academy director Jean-Michel Vandamme.

Hazard has been touted by top-clubs across Europe and was linked to Arsenal during the summer transfer window. Although he remained at Lille, he is expected to move on to higher challenge next summer and this is likely to be his final season with the French side.

Chelsea, under the new management of Andre Villas-Boas, has drastically changed their transfer policy and have signed promising youngsters over established stars. Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Thibaut Courtois were some of Chelsea's signings over the summer, while 23-year-old Spaniard Juan Mata and Portuguese 28-year-old Raul Meireles were their more seasoned signings.

Mata, who has impressed since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, was brought to address the need for an out-and-out winger, although he has had his best games when played centrally, and Villas-Boas is in search of another winger.

Genk youngster Kevin De Bruyne has long since been linked to Chelsea, and Villas-Boas stated his admiration for the player before Chelsea's 5-0 mauling of Genk in the Champions League on Wednesday. However, it is the more-in-demand Hazard who is attracting interest from across Europe.

Chelsea is the closest to the player, according to Vandamme, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan also interested.

Eden is certainly willing to stay at Lille at least until next summer. Vandamme was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. The buyer will have to come up with a lot of money - let's say he is not currently to go for less than £40 million.

Chelsea has been following him the closest. The Spaniards have not manifested themselves yet, but I think they are playing it smart and will call when they know they have to - I'm talking about Real Madrid, but also about Barcelona.