Premier League • England

Chelsea in major Hakim Ziyech worry as Ajax threaten to abandon transfer after fresh twist

Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea v Watford May 2022

Hakim Ziyech in action for Chelsea against Watford

Ajax could move on from Hakim Ziyech because transfer talks with Chelsea are not progressing as both sides had hoped, a report has claimed.

The Morocco international arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2020 as a Frank Lampard signing. While he has had his spells of good form, he has struggled to nail down a regular role.

And since Thomas Tuchel replaced Lampard as manager, those frustrations have continued. As a result, he has emerged as a transfer target for Ajax.

The Eredivisie club got the best out of Ziyech and are subsequently eyeing a return to the Netherlands for the winger.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed earlier this week that Chelsea had planned a third round of talks over selling Ziyech.

According to the Daily Mail, though, those talks just haven’t worked as hoped. The newspaper claims discussions ‘haven’t gone well’ – but does not specify the cause of the stalemate.

Nevertheless, the lack of progress is enough for Ajax to consider moving onto other targets.

They wanted Ziyech to return amid strong Manchester United interest in Brazilian star Antony, who could go to Old Trafford for north of £80million before next Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Ajax know they have to replace him, though, and felt Ziyech was the perfect candidate given his experience in general – and of the Eredivisie and the Champions League.

Indeed, the 29-year-old starred in the Ajax team which reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.

Chelsea struggling with Ziyech sale

The development is also a blow for Chelsea, who have identified Ziyech as a key player for sale to trim their squad.

Timo Werner has already left, with Christian Pulisic a third Blues forward whose future remains unclear.

Chelsea also plan to recoup funds for other players such as Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi. As it stands, though, the London club have a busy final week of business ahead of them.

As for incomings, Chelsea are focusing on one more new centre-back and a new striker.

They want Leicester’s Wesley Fofana at the back and Barcelona’s former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to support their attack.

But both deals remain unresolved, adding to the stress for Chelsea with only seven days to go until the window slams shut.