Chelsea reluctant to strengthen rivals Newcastle amid Hakim Ziyech transfer interest

Ziyech is open to leaving Chelsea this month  (Getty Images)
Ziyech is open to leaving Chelsea this month (Getty Images)

Chelsea are reluctant to allow Hakim Ziyech to join Newcastle on loan.

The Morocco international is open to leaving Stamford Bridge this month and Newcastle have looked at the possibility of signing him to boost their Champions League bid.

But Chelsea are increasingly seeing Newcastle as a rival following their resurgence since they were taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have personal friendships with members of the Newcastle board and their position on Ziyech has been relayed.

Ziyech has also been in good form since his brilliant World Cup in Qatar, where he starred for Morocco in their run to the semi-finals.

The 29-year-old set up Chelsea’s winner against Crystal Palace and followed that up with a good performance in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool.

Ziyech also has interest from Roma and Everton, and Chelsea are weighing up whether to keep the winger until the end of the season.

Chelsea are keen to sign at least two more players this month but they have made less progress in selling players to trim the size of their squad.

Graham Potter faces the prospect of having to de-registering players from their Champions League squad to include his five January signings.

Brighton and Benfica have refused to engage in negotiations this week for Chelsea’s primary midfield targets Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez.

The Blues are expected to explore short-term options on loan until the end of the season before signing a top target in the summer.

Gutso has agreed to join Chelsea from Lyon (AFP via Getty Images)
Gutso has agreed to join Chelsea from Lyon (AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Chelsea continue to negotiate with Lyon for right-back Malo Gusto.

The 19-year-old has already verbally agreed a move to Stamford Bridge but the two clubs are yet to reach an agreement over a deal.