Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Hakim Ziyech will join Chelsea at the end of the season.
Reports yesterday claimed that Chelsea were close to completing a deal for the £40million summer signing.
The Morocco winger was one of boss Frank Lampard’s top January targets and is now close to a summer switch to Stamford Bridge, the PA news agency understands.
But now the Stamford Bridge board have made a crucial breakthrough that should lead to Lampard’s first major signing as Chelsea manager.
Ziyech has laid on more than 20 goals in each of the last three seasons, having teeing up 21 at Ajax already this term.
“Ziyech to Chelsea? A transfer was coming, we expected it to happen,” Ten Hag told FOX Sports.
“And I actually already expected this one or two years earlier. And each time it was: ‘Wow, he stayed again.’
“We are just happy that we will still have him until the end of the season.”
Speaking after Ajax’s 3-0 win over Vitesse Arnhem on Wednesday, Ten Hag added: “I have known what Hakim wants for a long time, he is very clear about that. If it comes around, I would only applaud that, because it’s a fantastic club.
“We first have to wait until it is final, but if it is, we are very happy for Hakim. And I am very proud of him.”