Everton could complete two attacking signings in January as Frank Lampard is interested in snapping up Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and a Championship forward, according to reports.
Ziyech is likely to leave Stamford Bridge this month. He has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season, but only three of these have lasted 70 minutes or more. The winger is facing competition for places from the likes of Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount, plus new signings Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke – and this is reducing Ziyech’s game time.
Todd Boehly has spent huge sums of money since completing the Chelsea takeover in May last year, including over £180million this month alone.
As such, Chelsea will probably have to sell a few players to ensure they do not get in trouble with Financial Fair Play. And Ziyech will be one of the players viewed as being expendable by Graham Potter.
On Saturday, Spanish outlet Diario AS claimed Ziyech to be ‘on the market’. Newcastle hope to capitalise on the situation and are planning to come forward with a loan offer.
Barcelona also hold an interest in taking the Moroccan on board. And this move is thought to be his preferred solution.
Despite these links, Everton are being tipped to swoop in for Ziyech. According to the Daily Mail, Lampard wants to land him to improve Everton’s chances of avoiding relegation to the Championship.
Lampard is apparently a ‘huge admirer’ of Ziyech. This makes sense as he signed the 29-year-old for Chelsea in July 2020.
Frank Lampard eyes Championship star after Ziyech
Ziyech would add more quality to the wide options at Lampard’s disposal. He would compete with the likes of Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon for a starting place.
Ziyech may be followed to Goodison Park by a Sheffield United ace. As per The Sun, Everton chiefs want to bring in Iliman Ndiaye.
The France-born Senegal international was great last season, forming a top attacking partnership with Morgan Gibbs-White. He has reached the next level this term and has bagged 10 goals in 28 league games so far.
Ndiaye, who played for Senegal at the World Cup, clearly has enough quality to impress in the top flight. And Everton want to get a jump on any of his other Premier League suitors by capturing him this month.
They are trying to put together a £15m package for Ndiaye. However, this will fall well below Sheff Utd’s asking price.
Ndiaye is central to the Blades’ promotion hopes. So it would take a massive bid to force them into selling arguably their best player.
Everton hope to revamp attack
Everton fans will be glad to see Lampard attempting to transform his forward options. Ziyech could start at right wing, while Ndiaye could play in support of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
However, the Toffees will probably end up facing disappointment on both fronts. Ziyech will likely reject their advances in order to pursue a Barcelona switch. After all, he would rather compete for a La Liga title than take part in a relegation fight.
The Ndiaye hunt could also end in defeat. Everton would need to pay huge money to sign him. And due to Financial Fair Play regulations, that is simply not possible after their lavish spending in the past.
The 22-year-old’s Sheff Utd contract expires in June 2024, so Everton might have a better shot at landing him this summer. But it might be too late by then, as they are facing the reality of Championship football unless they improve drastically.