Erik ten Hag news: New Man Utd manager dismisses Dutch legend’s Hakim Ziyech transfer claim

Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea winger, during Champions League quarter-final clash v Real Madrid

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has instantly played down suggestions that he could launch a bid to prise Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea this summer.

The 52-year-old Dutchman is getting his feet under his desk, having made the move to England this week. In bringing an early end to his Ajax contract, Ten Hag is setting in motion in plans to return Manchester United to greatness. But in reviving a hugely-underperforming squad, Ten Hag has a massive job on his hands.

He will make wholesale changes to his playing squad this summer. To that end, as many as 12 players are expected to leave Old Trafford.

The new boss will be looking to strengthen all areas of his side, with defence, midfield and attack all seeing changes made.

First up, he will take advice from interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who will stay on at Old Trafford in an advisory capacity. He is understood to have already presented his recommendations to the new manager.

With money clearly needing to be spent, Ten Hag has received a plethora of transfer proposals from those in the media. For starters, he was on Tuesday advised to ignore Declan Rice and instead focus on a West Ham teammate.

Now, Netherlands legend Marco van Basten reckons Ten Hag would be wise in making Ziyech one of his first captures.

Van Basten advice

Appearing as a guest on Ziggo Sport, Van Basten explained his reasoning.

“What comes to my mind now is that I think Ziyech, who already plays in England, could be a very good footballer at Manchester United for Erik,” he said.

The Morocco winger knows Ten Hag well having played under him at Ajax. Together the pair enjoyed a successful relationship, winning the Eredivisie in 2019 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.

Ziyech then moved to Chelsea in a £35m deal, but has never established himself as a regular at Stamford Bridge.

Appearing on the same show, Ten Hag was quick to play down the claims. Insisting speculation is all part of the job, he intimated he would take his time to assess his squad first.

“Of course this was already the case at Ajax,” he said. “You take that in and then you have to continue to work well with the dressing room and with people within the club. You have to analyse well and make the right choices.”

Hakim Ziyech would flourish under Ten Hag at Man Utd

The suggestion from Van Basten is far from the worst. As such, it’s easy to see why he rates a move for Ziyech as a good one.

The Morocco star played the best football of his career under Ten Hag, but has not had an easy time of it at Chelsea.

He’s made 41 appearances this season, though only 23 of those have been starts. That’s an indication that, while he certainly possesses the quality, he does not quite have the trust of Thomas Tuchel.

Whether Chelsea would sell is also another matter. The Blues would loathe to lose a top player to top-four (and potentially, title) rivals. Furthermore, with a deal lasting until 2025, it would take serious money to prise him away.

Atletico hope to sign Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea this summer

Atletico Madrid want to sign Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea this summer despite on going sanctions placed on Roman Abramovich

That said, Ten Hag will need attacking reinforcements. The likes of Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani are likely to leave. And it would be easy to imagine the sweet left peg of Hakim Ziyech working it’s magic for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo to score a hatful of goals next season.

It’s also not the first time Ziyech has been the subject of transfer speculation this summer. Indeed, Atletico Madrid are also reportedly considering a swoop for the 29-year-old winger.

Meanwhile, fresh doubts are emerging over Dean Henderson leaving Old Trafford this summer, as per Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip.