Chelsea have reportedly ‘ruined’ their relationship with Paris Saint-Germain after Hakim Ziyech’s move to the French capital fell through.
A loan between the clubs had been agreed before Tuesday’s deadline with the 29-year-old travelling to Paris ready to complete a deal, but PSG were informed on Wednesday that the Ligue de Football Professionnel was not notified in time for the transfer to be completed.
PSG have blamed Chelsea, claiming that the club’s lawyers first sent them an incorrect document, then twice sent an unsigned version of the correct one.
Chelsea dispute this, saying that the Ligue 1 side sent a copy of the loan agreement for them to sign, which they returned ahead of the deadline. However, the club maintains a technical problem meant PSG did not receive it.
Chelsea say the French club then sent another copy of the agreement signed by themselves and the player, which Chelsea returned, but the earlier hold-up meant the agreement did not arrive in time for PSG to send it to the league by the 11pm (10pm GMT) deadline.
An appeal by the Ligue 1 champions was rejected by the LFP on Wednesday morning.
It means Ziyech – who has played 10 times in the Premier League this season, including four times since returning from helping Morocco finish fourth at the World Cup – will remain at Stamford Bridge for the remainder of the campaign.
It is understood that the player contacted owner Todd Boehly personally in an attempt to ensure the move was finalised before the deadline.
Chelsea have been hampered by an injury crisis since the league resumed at the end of December and at one stage had 10 players unavailable to head coach Graham Potter.
Some reports on the matter say Chelsea and PSG’s relationship has been ruined by what has been described as a ‘Class-A circus’ by Telegraph Sport.
The report states that the French champions will ‘think twice’ when it comes to negotiating with the Blues in the future following the Ziyech debacle.
Telegraph journalist Sam Dean added on Twitter: ‘Chelsea ruining their relationship with PSG might be a genuine problem in a couple of years, given their investment strategy.
‘Chelsea could easily be stuck with a bunch of unwanted high-earners on huge contracts. PSG are one of the few clubs who could take them off their hands.’
Potter could have a bit of a headache in deciding which of his new players will be registered for the knockout stage of the Champions League, as he can only pick three new faces.
Enzo Fernandez became the club’s eighth signing of the winter window on deadline day, though Malo Gusto will spend the rest of the season on loan with Lyon.
With Brazilian youngster Andrey Santos without a work permit, the Blues boss will have Fernandez, Benoit Badiashile, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Joao Felix, Noni Madueke and David Datro Fofana to choose from.
For what it’s worth, if it was me, I would be picking Fernandez, Badiashile and Mudryk.
READ MORE: Fun to watch? Chelsea spending this year has actually been pretty disgusting