Premier League side Chelsea have reportedly reached an agreement in principle to sign Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech from Ajax Amsterdam, FutballNews understands.
According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Wednesday, the Blues are set to announce the deal before their match against Manchester United on Saturday. The report added that club have reached advanced talks to sign the midfielder for £38m. The report, however, noted that there is still a chance that the playmaker might change his mind due to the fact that he has not signed a contract.
The Moroccan international is valued at £42.5million by the club after signing a contract extension last year which will expire in 2022. The 26-year-old was linked to Chelsea and Arsenal in January after the Blues’ manager Frank Lampard identified the Ajax attacker as a potential target last month. But the Dutch club refused to sell him in the transfer window, insisting on keeping him until the summer after they win the Eredivisie title.
Ziyech joined Ajax from rivals Twente in 2016 for €11 million and has been influential for the club during his three and a half years at the club. He has scored 8 goals and made 21 assists in all competitions for Ajax this season, taking his tally to 48 goals and 82 assists in 158 appearances in an Ajax shirt.
Since the playmaker joined the Amsterdam based-club, his performance has alerted some of Europe’s top clubs to enquire about his availability in the transfer window. The Moroccan was spectacular for Ajax in the Eredivisie and in the club’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, scoring 21 goals and registering 18 assists across all competitions. Ziyech was one of the Ajax players that stood out during his side’s thrilling 4-4 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in November.
The Moroccan international is a player with fantastic technique, possessing the ability to dribble and run past players with his good close control, creativity, and speed, while also having the vision and technique to pass the ball. He is an all-round player who is also good at set-pieces.
Chelsea have identified Ziyech as a target in the summer in order to solve the club’s creativity problem and the club is hopeful that Ajax would be willing to sell the playmaker. Ziyech would certainly fit the bill at Stamford Bridge and add more attacking depth to Lampard’s squad.