13 February 2020 11:11
Sign up to FREE daily email alerts from Football London - Chelsea Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Invalid Email In four days time Chelsea return to Premier League action. The Blues who currently occupy the final Champions League spot - ahead of this season's surprise package Sheffield United - by two points host fellow top-four hopefuls Manchester United on Monday night. Having already lost twice to the Red Devils already this term, the pressure is really on Frank Lampard's side to avoid a third straight loss at the hands of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side. The United clash is the first of three fixtures which will shape Lampard's first season as Chelsea head coach as his side host Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich within the next fortnight. There's no other place to start other than the big transfer news from Wednesday.
Chelsea, who didn't make a single signing last month, are already making up for lost time and are reportedly closing in on a deal for one of Europe's most exciting attacking midfielders. According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, a €45millon (£37m) deal has been reached in principle between the Blues and Ajax for the transfer of Hakim Ziyech in the summer. (Image: Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images) Furthermore, the report claims that despite interest from elsewhere, negotiations are only taking place with Chelsea and Ajax would prefer to sell to the west London club. The Blues had targeted the Moroccan as a priority signing, and it appears they will beat the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal to his signature. With a deal appearing to be close, Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham took to social media to deliver his verdict on the deal.
On Instagram, the account @433 posted a picture of Ziyech with the caption: 'Ajax and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of @hziyech this summer.' Ziyech is not the only player who looks set to be on the move at the end of the season. According to Sky Germany, Jadon Sancho will leave Borussia Dortmund this summer. But Chelsea are known admirers of the England international and will surely put up a fight in a bid to convince the winger that his future is at Stamford Bridge alongside the likes of Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi. If Ziyech and Sancho do indeed arrive in west London this summer, here's a look at how Chelsea's starting line-up could look on the opening day of next season. Michael Ballack has said that Bayern Munich will reach the Champions League quarter-final at Chelsea's expense. But Ballack is not sitting on the fence when it comes to predictions as he believes the Blues' run in the Champions League will end in March and that's mainly down to head coach Frank Lampard's lack of experience at the very top level. "Bayern are favourites, for many reasons," Ballack said. Chelsea's transfer ban has compelled them to put their faith in young players. Their manager is new and inexperienced in his job, and that is a big advantage for Bayern. They have mostly young players, a bit like Borussia Dortmund." Sign up to FREE daily email alerts from Football London - Arsenal Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Invalid Email Chelsea could be about to land a big name ahead of the summer transfer window. Surprisingly the Blues didn't make a single signing last month and that was despite links to the likes of Jadon Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell among plenty others. Another player that was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge is Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech. The Morocco international was one of the standout players of the Dutch champions' excellent run to the Champions League semi-final last season, and also impressed against the Blues earlier in the campaign. The midfielder did not join the Blues last month, but could he move at the end of the season. Here's what has been said so far about the links to Ziyech. "Hakim leaves when a good club presents itself," Overmars told De Telegraaf. "That happens, I think, because he is much more in the spotlight because of his great game in the Champions League than last year. "By the way, we promised Hakim a nice transfer on his arrival." Given the speculation that Roma baulked at a €40m price-tag a year ago, many would have expected that figure to have increased by at least €15m following the season he's had. The latest reports from the Netherlands from De Telegraaf (via the Mirror) claim that the asking price for the attacker is in the region of £30m, with the player said to be eyeing a move to the Emirates Stadium. (Image: Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) Manchester United, Roma aswell as clubs in Germany and Spain are also said to be interested in the talented attacking midfielder and with 16 goals as well as 13 assists last season it's no shock he's a wanted man. Arsenal may have been handed a boost in the race to land Ziyech. Eagle-eyed fans on social media have found an old video of the attacking midfielder taking part in a Q&A with former teammate Justin Kluivert, where he revealed that it was his 'dream' to play for Arsenal. In the same video, Ziyech was also asked who his football idol is and revealed it is none other than Arsenal's very own Mesut Ozil. Could that play into a transfer this summer? A document purportedly from Arsenal detailing a bid for Ajax's Hakim Ziyech had been doing the rounds on social media but football.london revealed it was nothing of the sort. This particular poorly made transfer Ziyech bid document posted on Twitter was as laughably bad a hoax as anyone can remember for a long time. Read here for the truth. Ziyech has also been linked with a move to Sevilla, a move in which the player himself doesn't seem too interested in. "With all due respect, they're not a club that I leave Ajax for," Ziyech told Algemeen Dagblad (via Marca). If it's not a club similar to Ajax, I do not see the reason to leave." Ziyech could have been an Arsenal player by now had the Gunners taken the advice of ex-winger Marc Overmars. "I am a little surprised that things are still so quiet around Hakim," Overmars said, as per AD. "I think he has played better every year and his statistics are exceptionally good. Ziyech signed a new deal with Ajax and that could be bad news for interested clubs should they wish to reignite any interest in future transfer windows. According to AS, Ajax offered Ziyech an improved deal without a release clause included so that could deter clubs from making an offer or spark a bidding war. (Image: ANP Sport via Getty Images) Furthermore, the report claims the attacking midfielder's new price tag is now £44m. Ajax chief makes huge transfer admission Edwin van der Sar has admitted that Ajax will lose more players this year. Ajax's success last campaign came at a cost, as they lost two of their best players in the summer window with Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt being sold to Barcelona and Juventus respectively And speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, former Manchester United goalkeeper says the club are resigned to losing more top of their key stars. (Image: (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)) "Next year Ajax will undoubtedly also lose players again," he said. Lampard eyes move for Ziyech According to ESPN, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has identified Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech as priority summer targets. Speaking after Chelsea's 2-1 FA Cup win over Hull City, Lampard said: "We lost ground last summer [with the transfer ban] and we need to make moves now to take us forward. According to The Telegraph, Chelsea had an approach for Hakim Ziyech rejected in January, but plan to return with a summer move for the midfielder. The report also claims Frank Lampard was frustrated that the Blues could not get a deal for the Moroccan over the line over month, but the Chelsea boss is ready to push for a renewed bid at the end of the season. Jadon Sancho is reportedly another target, but the Blues reportedly accept that his price tag could prove prohibitive. Chelsea 'agree' fee for Ziyech According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Chelsea have agreed a €45millon deal in principle with Ajax for the transfer of Hakim Ziyech in the summer. The Blues had targeted the Moroccan as a priority signing, and it appears the Blues will beat the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal to his signature. The report claims that despite interest from elsewhere, negotiations are only taking place with Chelsea and Ajax would prefer to sell to the west London club. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has reported that Ziyech has now agreed personal terms with the Blues. Ajax head coach Erik Ten Hag has given an update on Chelsea's bid to sign Hakim Ziyech in the summer. "Ziyech to Chelsea? A transfer was coming, we expected it to happen," Ten Hag told Fox.