Chelsea set huge asking price for Ajax to re-sign Hakim Ziyech

    Hakim Ziyech is wanted to replace Antony by Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder
    Hakim Ziyech is wanted to replace Antony by Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder (Picture: Getty)

    Ajax’s hopes of re-signing Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea have hit a major snag with the Premier League club looking to make a significant profit.

    The Morocco international joined the Blues from the Dutch giants two years ago but has shown only flashes of the brilliance which persuaded Frank Lampard to part with €40million.

    With Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount likely to be permanent fixtures this season and Anthony Gordon on the way, Thomas Tuchel is ready to deem Ziyech surplus to requirements.

    The 29-year-old is unwilling to settle for a bit-part role and is keen on a return to Ajax, having been heavily linked with Italian champions AC Milan earlier in the transfer window.

    Ziyech’s hopes of sealing a dream return, however, have hit the buffers with De Telegraaf reporting that Chelsea are aiming to make a small profit by demanding €44m.

    The Blues want a permanent sale, while Ajax, despite the likely near €90m windfall they will receive from Manchester United for Antony, would prefer to take Ziyech on loan.

    Chelsea, meanwhile, are closing in on the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the former Arsenal captain likely to have taken part in his last Barcelona training session, according to reports in Spain.

    Hakim Ziyech has played just 24 minutes in Chelsea's first three games this season
    Hakim Ziyech has played just 24 minutes in Chelsea’s first three games this season (Picture: Getty)

    Chelsea have been reluctant to pay a sizeable fee for a player who only moved to Camp Nou on a free transfer in February, while Aubameyang himself was initially thought to have had some reservations about leaving the club so soon after arriving.

    Now Spanish newspaper AS are reporting that negotiations have accelerated in recent hours and all parties feel a deal could be completed very quickly.

    Chelsea will pay a total package worth €25million (£21m), which is significantly more than their opening bid but also less than the €30m (£25m) Barcelona were initially demanding.

    Leicester City v Leeds United - Premier League
    Wesley Fofana will not play for Leicester against Chelsea this weekend (Picture: Getty)

    The Blues, meanwhile, remain interested in Leicester’s Wesley Fofana who will miss Saturday’s Premier League match between his current and would-be club.

    Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Brendan Rodgers confirmed: ‘He won’t be available for the weekend. He has trained with our Under-23 squad.’

    Probed on how similar the situation is to Harry Maguire’s move to Manchester United in 2019, Rodgers rejected the comparison and suggested Fofana has been considerably less professional in how he has reacted.

    He explained: ‘No, it was totally different. I was aware over the course of the summer that there was a possibility that could happen.

    ‘Harry in terms of his behaviour and his focus for the club, he was fantastic right until the last minute he was with the team and with the squad and then he moved on. So no, it is different.

    ‘Over the seasons here we’ve lost obviously Ben Chilwell as well, but this [Fofana situation] unfortunately is just a little bit different. But our focus is with the team and the players that are available.’

    MORE : Brendan Rodgers confirms decision over Wesley Fofana’s involvement against Chelsea

    MORE : ‘I’m ready!’ Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic hands Thomas Tuchel major fitness boost

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