Chelsea Transfer News: Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech a summer target for the Blues
Chelsea are preparing to return with an offer for Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech in the summer, the Telegraph reports. The Blues had a bid for the Moroccan rejected by the Dutch side in the winter, as Ajax were determined to keep the player at the club for the rest of the season.
However, with Frank Lampard planning for a big summer ahead, Chelsea will now monitor Ziyech for the rest of the season and plan to add him to their squad in the next transfer window.
Lampard was looking forward to bringing the dynamic midfielder to Stamford Bridge in January but was left frustrated by the club's failure to seal a deal for him. The Englishman is desperate to add a bit of experience in his young team and the Moroccan, who turns 27 next month and has 32 appearances for his country, would certainly help Lampard’s cause.
With their transfer ban now lifted, Lampard will have at least £150 million to spend in the summer, plus whatever money is generated from the sale of players.
Ziyech an easier alternative to Jadon Sancho
Chelsea are reportedly interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho but are also aware that they face stiff competition for his services from quite a few clubs including Manchester United. The Englishman’s £100 million-plus price tag also means that Chelsea will have to fork out a considerable amount from their budget to fund the transfer. In such a scenario, Ziyech could prove to be an easier alternative.
The Moroccan is expected to cost approximately £42 million, which means that Lampard would have enough cash in reserve to pursue other targets. Chelsea are interested in Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, while a striker and a central defender also remain a priority. Keeping in mind Kepa Arrizabalaga’s recent form, the Blues will also be tempted to mull over goalkeeping options.
Besides being relatively easy on the pocket, Ziyech will also add a new dimension to the Chelsea squad. The 26-year old was fabulous against the Blues in the UEFA Champions League group stage game at Stamford Bridge this season and had also impressed against Tottenham Hotspur in the semifinal tie last season.
The Lilywhites were also monitoring the player, but the arrival of Steven Bergwijn means that they will not pursue Ziyech in the summer.