Chelsea have reached a verbal agreement with Ajax to sign talented winger Hakim Ziyech for £38m this summer, according to reports in the Dutch press.
Frank Lampard was looking at adding the Morocco wide man in January but could not get a deal done, as the Chelsea boss endured a frustrating transfer window.
The club haven’t given up on their man though, and the 26-year-old looks like still ending up at Stamford Bridge even if it is a few months later than the Blues had wanted.
Dutch paper De Telegraaf is now reporting that a fee of around £38m has been agreed between the two clubs for Ziyech to move to west London in the summer.
Ziyech, who scored eight goals and was credited with a whopping 21 assists in just 29 games this season, was a major part of Ajax’s superb run to the Champions League final last season, and he was widely expected to leave last summer.
He has given Ajax a further season though, and now looks to be heading to the Premier League – where he had previous been linked with Liverpool.
Ziyech has become one of the most creative players in Europe – making over 20 assists in each of the last three seasons – and Lampard will be delighted to add him to a squad that already contains Willian, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea were unable to land any of their transfer targets in January, leaving the manager to claim the Blues were “underdogs” for a top-four Premier League finish.
But Chelsea’s board refused to relent on their quest to recruit one of Ajax’s top assets and are now close to completing terms to bring the former FC Twente star to Stamford Bridge.
The west London club saw their FIFA transfer ban lifted on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) one window early, but were unable to capitalise by making any mid-season recruits in January.
The Blues could still net as much as £150million from Eden Hazard’s big-money transfer to Real Madrid last summer, and Lampard wants to dip into those funds to bolster his youthful squad.