Well, this escalated quickly.
What was just the usual vague “monitoring” crap less than 24 hours ago has now turned into a full-on confirmation frenzy, with just about every trustworthy source reporting that Chelsea and Ajax Amsterdam have agreed a €45m transfer for Hakim Ziyech.
It started with a report from Dutch reporter Mike Verweij, but has now been confirmed by The Athletic’s transfer oracle, David Ornstein, as well as the Telegraph’s Matt Law, who’s about as close as we come to an actual Chelsea insider these days.
As @telegraaf Chelsea have verbal agreement with Ajax to sign Hakim Ziyech for €45m in summer. €30m release clause removed via new deal in Aug. Personal terms not done yet, likely in coming days. #CFC only club in talks with #Ajax (since Dec), developed this week @TheAthleticUK— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) February 12, 2020
This escalated quickly - Chelsea are set to sign Ziyech for around £40million. More to follow on @TeleFootball https://t.co/ldspolIVb9— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) February 12, 2020
Reports so far claim that this is just a verbal agreement at this time, but Law’s reporting that the deal “should be confirmed by both clubs this week”, which certainly would be a (welcome) change of pace for the club. Chelsea have made a habit out of leaving business late in transfer windows and often scrambling to find a solution to pressing needs in the last minute. Now we’re getting business done well in advance (too bad we couldn’t do it last month, but Ajax understandably wanted to keep Ziyech, who also has his sights set on a couple trophies.)
As far as personal terms are concerned, some Dutch reports claim that even those also will be ironed out shortly.
Ziyech will have turned 27 by the time this transfer goes through, making him a fully formed, primetime-ready, LEFT-FOOTED addition to a team full of bright young talent. Should be a smart and important bit of business by the club, especially if both Pedro and Willian end up leaving. It should also leave plenty of funds in the “£150m warchest” for any other key signings in the summer.
I’m very excited by the prospect of watching Ziyech every week at Chelsea. As he underlined at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, his left foot is pure, unadulterated sauce #CFC— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) February 12, 2020
166 - Hakim Ziyech has been directly involved in 166 goals since his Eredivisie debut (79 goals & 87 assists), at least 36 more than any other player. Blue. pic.twitter.com/iUDp580SFI— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) February 12, 2020