Tottenham could make a final splurge in the transfer market with Antonio Conte informed that Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech prefers a move across London, as opposed a return to one of his former clubs.
The Italian coach is beginning to put his stamp on Spurs, with a series of impressive signings. Indeed, Tottenham have managed to add seven new signings so far, with Richarlison and Yves Bissouma the most eye-catching. However, it seems Conte and director Fabio Paratici are not done yet, with the club eyeing one more splash before the window shuts.
To that end, Spurs were mentioned recently as contenders to sign wantaway Chelsea star Ziyech. The Moroccan has endured a frustrating time at Stamford Bridge, having fallen down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel. To that end, he’s been limited to just 26 minutes of Premier League action so far this season.
And 29, Ziyech is desperate to secure a move and play more regular football. As a result, the likes of AC Milan were among those exploring the possbility of his signing.
However, it is Ajax who have been the most strongly linked with his signature of late. The Amsterdammers are reportedly looking towards their former player as a potential replacement for Antony, who has been strongly linked with Manchester United.
However, Spurs are reportedly keeping a close watch on his situation amid a potential swoop. Conte wants to add more depth to his squad and Ziyech’s ability to play off either wing or as an attacking midfield is said to appeal.
Indeed, Conte was keeping a close watch on Nicolo Zaniolo to fulfil a similar role. However, those links towards the Roma star have eased with the Italian suffering a dislocated shoulder.
Spurs told Hakim Ziyech fancies move
And with reports also claiming Zaniolo is considering the offer of a new five-year deal, it seems he has put out of reach for Conte.
However, they could have much more joy with Ziyech amid claims he favours staying in the Premier League.
That suggestion comes from Dutch analyst Johan Derkse, who reckons Ziyech would regard an Ajax return as a personal failure.
“I can imagine that he prefers Tottenham, because he wants to succeed in England,” he told Vandaag Inside, via Ajax Showtime.
“(Returning to Ajax is) a bit as a rejection. He would be received with applause here, that would be a warm welcome. But instinctively the boy has failed in England.”
His fellow analyst Rene Van der Gijp also agrees with that take, suggesting the Premier League holds far more sway.
“If you can play at Tottenham or you play against Sparta, RKC or Go Ahead, then you go there, right?” he commented.
Zaniolo would be a good addition for Conte
If the price is right, then a move for Ziyech would prove a shrewd move for Conte and Spurs.
They would be signing a player in the prime of his career and one eager to prove a point. The Moroccan can consider himself unlucky not to have more game time at Stamford Bridge.
However, Ziyech boasts obvious qualities; the 29-year-old impressing when given a chance. Indeed, in just 1317 Premier League minutes last season, Ziyech managed four goals and three assists. That means he has a goal contribution every 188.3 minutes – a handy record for sure.
Equally, while he might not be first choice every match for Spurs, their participation in the Champions League will ensure chances do come his way.
Spurs have an opening in their squad with Steven Bergwijn departing for Ajax. Chelsea, however, are reportedly looking for as much as £37m for Hakim Ziyech this summer, which may prove problematic for Spurs.
But if they can beat down that price then it may prove a decent deal for all parties.
Meanwhile, another of Tottenham’s summer signings, Djed Spence, could find himself shipped out on loan amid claims that Conte was overuled over his arrival.