Chelsea to reignite interest in Ajax forward ahead of £150m summer spree

Steve Pearson

Chelsea have been tipped to make a second attempt to sign Ajax forward Hakim Ziyech in the summer as part of a huge £150m overhaul, according to a report.

Many believed Stamford Bridge would be a hotbed of action during the January transfer window after the club’s transfer ban was finally lifted, but major deals failed to materialise as boss Frank Lampard’s frustrations mounted.

One area the Blues were reportedly keen to strengthen was in the forwards.

Moves for proven goalscorers such as Dries Mertens and Edinson Cavani were touted, along with an audcaious approach for Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech.

The 26-year-old Ajax frontman had just signed a new deal in the Dutch capital six months prior, and according to British newspaper The Telegraph, the club were ‘adamant’ he would be made to finish the current campaign so soon after penning fresh terms.

However, the article reveals that a second Blues approach in the summer would have a far higher chance of succeeding.

Ajax are reportedly ‘braced for new bids in the summer when they accept it will be far harder to keep the 26-year-old.’

Lampard is described as being ‘frustrated’ at being unable to land the forward in the winter window, but could sanction a follow-up bid on the summer with Blues scouts set to monitor the Moroccoan closely for the remainder of the season.

With veteran wingers Pedro and Willian’s contracts set to expire in the summer, a move for Ziyech could be just the tonic to freshen up Chelsea’s forward line in what promises to be a busy summer at Stamford Bridge.

The report notes that Lampard will be given ‘£150m to spend in the summer and Chelsea are preparing for a high turnover of players.’

Other names touted as possible exits from the club are Olivier Giroud (who came close to a switch to Inter Milan in January) and Marcos Alonso who has struggled for game-time in the current campaign.

The article notes that the Spaniard’s exit could pave the way for a full-throated pursuit of Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, a player Chelsea have long been admirers of.

Meanwhile, Man Utd are set to go all in in the efforts to beat Chelsea to a £120m-rated attacking target.