According to The Telegraph, Chelsea are close to an agreement to sign Hakim Ziyech and a summer move could even be confirmed this week.
This is a move which has repercussions for Manchester United, although some of these may take months to shake out.
Firstly, Ziyech is a top player and it is frustrating to miss out on him. Even more so, to a rival club. He will make Chelsea stronger, and United’s job next season tougher.
ESPN reported in January that Ziyech was a player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admired. But United never acted on this.
It was bizarre that nobody bought Ziyech last summer, or in January. He’s been prolific for Ajax over the last two seasons, with 24 assists last year. United’s reluctance to move for him has resulted in Chelsea swooping in.
Chelsea’s move is a reminder that while the transfer window is closed, clubs can still negotiate and make moves. Dortmund clinched the Erling Haaland deal in December. United need to be more proactive.
Last week we put together a list of six key potential targets for the summer for United. Ziyech was among them. So too was Jadon Sancho…
Does this help United’s move for Sancho?
There’s certainly an argument to say this helps. Yet, nothing really conclusive.
Chelsea are reportedly admirers of Sancho, as The Mirror reported last night, even though United are favourites. So does their move for Ziyech indicate they are giving up and moving for an alternative instead?
We can only hope the Blues are pulling out of the race, however its very possible they could try and land Sancho too.
Ziyech’s versatility means he can thrive as both a central playmaker and as a winger and Chelsea could try to fit them into the same side.
This early move for Ziyech shows an aggressive transfer market strategy from Chelsea and this is just the start of their summer business. United should not be complacent.
If anything this should be a wake up call for United and spur them on to do business for Sancho, who has been valued in The Mirror ‘s report at £120 million..
Ziyech may not have been United’s first choice, but now he is seemingly off the market, it reduces the room for error with Sancho.
If Sancho gets snapped up by a PSG or Real Madrid, who would United’s next option be if looking to sign a winger?
So this becomes a deal United need to get done and it would be a real statement to get him. Dortmund would be smart to hold out for Euro 2020 and potentially see if his price rises.
That leaves us potentially holding on and waiting for months.
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