Manchester United lead the charge to sign an unwanted Chelsea star destined to quit Stamford Bridge in January, surprise reports in Italy have claimed.
Erik ten Hag was allowed to spend well over £200m during the summer during phase one of his Old Trafford rebuild. And while the early signs are good at Old Trafford, the United manager still needs more quality in his ranks. As such, preparations are well underway for the January transfer window, which is due to open in just 33 days time.
Top of Ten Hag’s wanted list is a new striker with Cristiano Ronaldo having parted ways. The Portuguese attacker mutually agreed to have his contract terminated leaving the veteran star free to find a new club. But for United it leaves an almighty hole to fill in their attack.
As such, reports on Monday claimed talks over a potential £90m recruit were beginning to gather pace.
A new striker, though, is not just the only position Ten Hag wants to strengthen during phase two of his rebuild. He is also looking for a new right-back, with TEAMtalk revealing two clubs are battling to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka in January.
The former Palace star is unwanted by Ten Hag, but his exit will leave the Red Devils with another hole to fill. To that end, talks to sign a Bundesliga-based right-back are likely to get underway in the coming weeks.
However, reports in Italy claim Ten Hag is also considering a shock raid on Chelsea.
The Blues are themselves preparing for a period of change with Graham Potter stamping his mark on the squad. And Chelsea have a number of players likely to move on when the winter window opens for business.
United looking into cut-price Hakim Ziyech transfer
United have already been linked with a cheeky approach for Christian Pulisic. But that appears to be a red herring if reports in Italy are proved to be accurate.
Indeed, as per Calciomercato, United are also exploring a potential deal to sign Hakim Ziyech. The Moroccan appears desperate to quit the west London outfit after falling way down their pecking order. He has seen his opportunities limited this season, having made just one start in the Premier League this season.
Now 29, he knows he needs to move on in order to reboot his fading career.
To that end, reports in Italy claim a move to long-term suitors AC Milan looks on the cards. The Italian champions have admired Ziyech for several years, tracking him during his days at Ajax.
As such, they are reportedly looking to sign him on loan in January with a view to a permanent summer move.
Chelsea man could reunite with Ten Hag
However, Calciomercato claims Ziyech’s agent has also been in talks with officials at United. They reportedly pose the biggest threat to Milan and their chances of signing the versatile star.
And the Italian outlet suggests a cut-price move to Old Trafford for a fee of around £17.5m could be on the cards.
A move to United would also see Ziyech reunite with his former mentor at Ajax in Ten Hag.
However, a move to the Red Devils appears unlikely at best. Ten Hag has options aplenty on the right of his attack with Antony arriving in a £85m move. The United boss currently also has Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri as options.
And while the latter looks set to leave, a move for Ziyech appears highly unlikely at best.
Indeed, United’s priorities will surely lie in strengthening other areas of their side first. And even though Ziyech looks a good signing for the money quoted, it seems the speculation may have originated from his agents seeking to drum up interest in their client.