Chelsea have reached a ‘verbal agreement’ with Ajax over the proposed summer transfer of attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech, according to the latest reports from the Netherlands.
Ziyech has emerged as one of the most prominent new stars in Europe as a result of his contributions as Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.
Chelsea, who are set for a major period of rebuilding and strengthening this coming summer, were already believed to be keeping a close eye on 26-year-old Ziyech.
The Premier League club are thought to have wanted to sign the Dutch-born Morocco international during what was ultimately a failed transfer window last month. But Ajax were unwilling to sell such an important player midway through the season.
Now, however, De Telegraaf reports that Chelsea and Ajax have reached a verbal agreement over a potential summer deal for Ziyech this week.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is said to have ‘instructed’ Chelsea officials to immediately arrange a transfer for the end of the season after missing out on Ziyech in January. De Telegraaf puts a value of €45m (£38m) on the proposed transfer.
The Dutch newspaper also notes that with no deal formally finalised, there is still an opportunity for other clubs to swoop in and open talks. Other sides are indeed said to be interested, but, as things stand, it is only currently Chelsea that Ajax have been in contact with.
Where Ziyech himself is concerned, the opportunity to return to the Champions League after Ajax dropped into the Europa League for the second half of this season is important. It puts pressure on Chelsea to ensure they hold onto a place in the Premier League top four.
90min revealed in January that Lampard is having an increasing influence over Chelsea’s transfer strategy and the retired midfielder ruled out a move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha over concerns about his suitability.
90min also learned at that time, while Jadon Sancho has remained a Chelsea target, despite some reservations over the way he left Manchester City, Manchester United are the more likely next destination for the 19-year-old England winger.
Source : 90min