Hakim Ziyech closing in on move away from Chelsea amid destiny linked to Premier League rival

·3-min read
Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea FC applauds the fans following the final whistle of the UEFA Champions League match at the Bernabeu Credit: PA Images
Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea FC applauds the fans following the final whistle of the UEFA Champions League match at the Bernabeu Credit: PA Images

Hakim Ziyech is closing in on a return to Ajax from Chelsea in the wake of an agreement for Manchester United to sign Antony, according to reports.

Manchester United’s pursuit of Antony has been one of the biggest stories of the current transfer window. It has had several repercussions, especially regarding how Ajax would replace the Brazilian winger.

One theory that has come up has been the Eredivisie side taking Ziyech back from Chelsea. He previously played for them between 2016 and 2020 before earning his Premier League move.

Things haven’t fully worked out for Ziyech since then. Concerns over his gametime have prompted speculation about a departure from Stamford Bridge this summer.

Coincidentally, he was actually linked with Manchester United for a brief time, due to his prior understanding with Erik ten Hag. However, it seems the reunion he will be making if he leaves Chelsea will relate to a former club, rather than a former manager.

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Ziyech is now on the verge of a return to Ajax, where he will replace Manchester United-bound Antony.

There were initially some doubts as to whether the 29-year-old would choose to retrace his steps. Indeed, some claims emerged regarding interest from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, which seemed preferable.

But he is now ready to revise his plans and will be going back to the Amsterdam outfit, all being well.

There are not yet any details about the potential transfer fee, or whether it would be a permanent deal at all. However, it looks increasingly likely that Ziyech will be becoming an Ajax player for a second spell by the end of the month.

Ziyech was in much better form for Ajax before than Chelsea

During his previous stint, he contributed 49 goals and 81 assists from 165 appearances. It appears he will soon get the chance to add to those tallies.

By leaving Chelsea, he would be departing Stamford Bridge with a record of 14 goals and 10 assists in 84 games. Clearly, his form was better back in his country of birth.

Therefore, returning to Ajax may be a sensible decision for the former Morocco international. With a clear space for him to fill in the wake of Antony’s exit, plus Champions League involvement on offer, there are appealing factors behind the switch.

Now, Ajax will hope to be able to negotiate Ziyech’s return smoothly with Chelsea. The Premier League club can move on without him thanks to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and others.

And there could yet be another competitor for an attacking berth on the way before the transfer window closes at the start of September…

READ MORE: Chelsea exploring late deal to snatch dynamic winger keen on making move from London rivals

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