Erik ten Hag has identified Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech as his transfer ‘priority’, but the Man Utd hierarchy are ‘against’ pursuing a deal, according to reports.
The Dutch manager worked with Ziyech at Ajax before the Moroccan joined the Blues for around £36million in 2020.
He was excellent in the Netherlands – scoring 49 and assisting 80 for Ajax – but has struggled since moving to the Premier League.
The 29-year-old has provided 24 goal contributions in 83 games for Chelsea but did get his hands on the Champions League trophy in his first season at the club.
Two years on from joining Chelsea, Ziyech is now available for transfer.
The former Ajax star has been linked with a move to Italian champions AC Milan and a deal was expected to be finalised relatively quickly.
However, rumours have died down in recent weeks and a switch to the San Siro appears to be off.
Last month, Ziyech revealed that he will manage his own future with a Chelsea exit expected this summer and with Milan keen on a move, they were looking to sign both him and Charles de Ketelaere.
The 21-year-old Belgian has completed his move to the Rossoneri, however, Ziyech’s future is still in limbo.
According to French reporter Nabil Djellit (via The Sun), the Moroccan is one of Ten Hag’s transfer “priorities” as he looks to improve his Man Utd squad.
The 52-year-old manager is hoping to reunite with the player after a successful spell together in Amsterdam. They won a league and cup double in 2019, on top of reaching the Champions League semi-finals.
Ten Hag sees Ziyech as an ideal alternative to Ajax winger Antony, who the Red Devils are very interested in signing this summer.
The Eredivisie side have priced the Premier League club out of a move, slapping an €80m (£68m) price tag on the Brazilian.
A deal is now ‘completely off the agenda’, unless Ajax reduce their valuation or Antony hands in a transfer request, as per Sky Sports.
Ziyech is a pretty similar player to Antony. Both players are left-footed and play off the right. And of course, Ten Hag has worked with both and is a huge fan of them.
The Man Utd hierarchy have placed a lot of faith in Ten Hag thus far, completing the signings of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax and Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, two players the Dutchman specifically wanted to bring to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have also signed Christian Eriksen – who played for Ajax before joining Tottenham in 2013 – following the expiry of his Brentford contract.
However, it is believed club chiefs are ‘against’ signing Ziyech and may ‘block’ a move, against their new manager’s wishes.
With the 29-year-old not someone the club want to sign, it will be interesting to see if they give in to Ten Hag’s demands and put even more faith in him.