Chelsea negotiating Hakim Ziyech loan to Ajax and considering move for Wilfried Zaha

Thomas Tuchel is still keen to strengthen his Chelsea squad before the transfer window deadline

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Monday 29 August 2022 18:05 BST
<p>Hakim Ziyech is wanted by his former club Ajax </p>

Hakim Ziyech is wanted by his former club Ajax

Chelsea are in negotiations with Ajax over a loan for Hakim Ziyech, with the London club set to pay a significant portion of his wages.

The Dutch champions are set to confirm Antony’s €100m departure to Manchester United, after a summer of significant outgoings, so need to bolster their attack. Ziyech’s return to Ajax is an obvious choice, with the Moroccan star having fallen out of favour with Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.

While he had seemed set for a permanent move to AC Milan, the Italian champions didn’t match Chelsea’s valuation or the playmaker’s salary. That is an issue that could be solved by a loan move, with the London club set to still pay part of Ziyech’s wages if he goes back to Ajax.

Ethan Ampadu is another set for a temporary move, although his loan to Italian club Spezia is not yet complete, and there is competition for his signature.

Chelsea are set to be one of the busiest clubs over the next three days. Tuchel has been giving heavy consideration to his attacking options, and would still prefer a No 9. While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains an option from Barcelona, Chelsea are surveying other possibilities.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha may represent an option that can also play out wide, although Tuchel has been wondering about his suitability to the role. Although Zaha only has one year left on his current contract, and has been looking to play in the Champions League for years, Palace manager Patrick Vieira would be unlikely to sanction a transfer unless the club can bring in a suitable alternative with little of the window left. The Selhurst Park hierarchy have looked into the possibility of bringing Conor Gallagher back on loan from Chelsea, and the England international would again be open to a temporary move, but Tuchel likes him and sees him as an option this season.

Arsenal are also monitoring Zaha’s situation as they seek one more signing in attack, with Wolves highly reluctant to sell top target Pedro Neto.

Chelsea are still aiming to make three signings before the window closes, with attack the highest priority. The £80m purchase of Wesley Fofana from Leicester City is expected to be completed before deadline day.

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