Eden Hazard picks Chelsea over Manchester duo

Eden Hazard has finally ended speculation about his future by announcing he will join Chelsea next season.

The 21-year-old Lille playmaker, who had long been linked with a move to the Barclays Premier League – with Manchester United and Manchester City also believed to be eager to sign him – revealed he had chosen the newly-crowned European champions on his official Twitter account. He wrote: “I’m signing for the champion’s league winner.”

Hazard earlier continued to keep fans of several clubs in suspense by posting he had “made up his mind” who he was going to join but declined to name the team in question.

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There was no official confirmation from either Chelsea or Lille that a deal had been reached over the signing of Hazard, who has been rated at £32million. But reports in France suggest the Belgium star has agreed a five-year contract worth as much as £100,000 a week after tax.

Chelsea had earlier announced more good news when Champions League hero Petr Cech signed a new four-year contract.

The Czech keeper, who joined the club in 2004, has already played more games for Chelsea than any overseas player – 369 appearances which has seen him win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Carling Cups plus the Champions League after a penalty shoot-out. Cech said: “I am really happy to be part of this great club for another four years. I hope the next four years will be as successful as the last eight years I have been at the club.”

Cech, 30, was instrumental in Chelsea’s victorious FA Cup and Champions League campaigns over the past few months. He saved Arjen Robben’s penalty in extra time in the European competition final against Bayern Munich and two more in the shoot-out. Over the course of his Chelsea career Cech has kept 178 clean sheets, an astonishing 48 per cent of the games he has played in.