Chelsea have verbally agreed a €45million deal with Ajax to bring Hakim Ziyech to Stamford Bridge in the summer, according to reports in the Netherlands.
The Blues were unable to sign anyone last summer due to their transfer ban, with that situation not being rectified in January despite the club being freed to conduct business by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was keen on signing a new striker to support Tammy Abraham – or another attacker at the least – with Olivier Giroud’s future in the balance.
No new deals were completed but according to De Telegraaf, Chelsea have acted quickly ahead of the summer and are close to securing their first end-of-season arrival in the form of a €45m deal for Ziyech.
It is claimed that Lampard had sounded out the Morocco international as a top reinforcement up front and instructed his staff to act promptly at the end of the transfer window to begin negotiations with Ajax.
The newspaper also says that while the door is open for other clubs to steal a march on Chelsea for Ziyech, the 26-year-old has his sights set on a move to Stamford Bridge, with the prospect of Champions League football a big motivation in the deal.
Ziyech joined Ajax in 2016 and has become one of the club’s most consistent performers, with his goal contributions catching the eye.
In his first season, he scored 12 goals and assisted 20 others in 46 appearances before netting nine goals and laying on 18 more in the 2017/18 campaign.
It was the 2018/19 campaign that saw Ziyech announce himself on the European stage; his 21 goals and 24 assists helped Ajax in their run to the Champions League semi-finals.
This term, Ziyech has already been involved in 29 goals in 29 outings.
As for his final few months in Amsterdam, De Telegraaf adds that Ziyech wants to win the Eredivisie again and is aiming for glory in the KNVB Cup and the Europa League.
In other news, Chelsea have scheduled a meeting about the possible return of Jeremie Boga to the club, according to reports.
The French-born Ivory Coast winger spent almost a decade with the Blues between their youth teams and first team but made just one senior appearance for the club after spending several years out on loan.
The 23-year-old has flourished since his permanent switch to Serie A surprise package Sassuolo in 2018, however, notching 10 goals in 50 appearances including seven from 22 in the current campaign.