Ajax have taken the first steps towards retaining the services of key playmaker Hakim Ziyech by removing the €30m exit clause that existed in his contract.
Midfielder Ziyech, who was under contract until 2021, enjoyed a brilliant campaign with the Dutch giants last season – driving them into the Champions League semi-finals where they eventually lost to Spurs.
Reports have claimed that Premier League quartet Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Leicester were all keen on the player, while Liverpool and Tottenham have also been mentioned as suitors, while there is also interest from Roma and unnamed clubs in Germany and Spain.
However, reports this week that Real Madrid scouted Ziyech, along with his Ajax teammates Donny van der Beek and David Neres, have forced Ajax to take up an option in his contract, with De Telegraaf now reporting that has been removed as part of his contract renewal.
And the removal of the clause means Ajax will be able to demand a far higher fee over Ziyech’s sale, with the Daily Mirror claiming they see the player as ‘much nearer €50m’ in the modern market.
Ziyech’s new deal at Ajax sees the Moroccan contracted to the club until 2022, but tellingly Ziyech’s form this season – he has already contributed seven goals and four assists in 10 matches for Ajax across all competitions so far – means the big guns will continue to monitor his progress.
Ziyech has not revealed too much about where he sees himself playing next season, but has previously spoken of his desire to play in the Premier League, with one club in particular on his radar.
“Well, I have two clubs. They are Arsenal and Barcelona . That is my ultimate dream,” he said in 2017.
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