Premier League • England

Chelsea transfer news: Hakim Ziyech the first victim of Raphinha deal as Todd Boehly strikes £30m sale of Moroccan to Euro giants

Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea in action during the Uefa Champions League Group H match between Juventus FC and Chelsea FC

Hakim Ziyech is reportedly closing on a move away from Chelsea with the Moroccan likely to become an immediate casualty of their impending capture of Raphinha.

The Blues have acted swiftly and decisively to take a rapid lead in the Raphinha transfer race. With Barcelona dropping from the running, and Arsenal struggling to negotiate a fee, Chelsea have struck a deal with Leeds for the Brazilian.

His fee is worth a minimum £60m to the Whites, with the player now travelling for talks with owner and acting sporting director Todd Boehly.

The signing will be a real statement for Chelsea, who are also negotiating with Manchester City for Raheem Sterling. Whether the capture of Raphinha will affect their interest in Sterling remains to be seen.

However, it seems the Brazilian’s arrival will spell curtains for Ziyech. The Moroccan has cut an unhappy figure over the past few months, struggling to nail down a regular place in Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Indeed, Ziyech – the first signing of the Frank Lampard era back in February 2020 – made just 21 starts in all competitions in 2021/22.

As such, he was reportedly on the shopping list of a number of clubs, with Atletico Madrid and even Manchester United linked.

Milan strike agreement for winger

However, it emerged last week that Ziyech is also being chased by AC Milan. And now reports claim an agreement is close.

As per reports in Spain, negotiations between Milan and the Blues have been ongoing for a number of weeks. And now an agreement worth £30m (€35m) is reportedly close.

Once the agreement is finalised, Ziyech will be given permission to negotiate personal terms with the Serie A champions.

However, the move is likely to go through without too many hitches. And Milan are able to offer the player the Champions League football he craves.

The money is unlikely to burn a hole in Chelsea’s pocket for long. Indeed, they are sending double that to Leeds for Raphinha.

Hakim Ziyech never quite worked at Chelsea

A player of obvious quality, Ziyech never quite earned the trust of Tuchel at Chelsea. While he rarely let the team down when he was afforded a chance, the plethora of options meant he was often overlooked.

Indeed, the Blues are extremely well blessed in those forward positions. And Tuchel often preferred the likes of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz, with Ziyech regularly on the sidelines.

His move to Milan will give him that chance to re-establish himself as one of the game’s leading playmakers. Possessing a beautiful left foot, Ziyech will likely slot in effortlessly in Italy.

Hakim Ziyech loan to AC Milan almost complete says reports

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is reportedly close to joining AC Milan on loan for £5m

That said, Chelsea have not done badly out of the player. They signed the Moroccan from Ajax at the age of 27 and while in his peak. Now 29, the Blues have managed to negotiate a fee which pretty much returns all their initial investment.

In total, Ziyech played 83 times for Chelsea, scoring 14 times.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are growing in hope they can secure the signing of Matthijs De Ligt with Juventus’ hardline stance reportedly softening.