Chelsea have reportedly beaten Manchester United and Arsenal to the signing of Ajax forward Hakim Ziyech.
Ziyech, 26, was tipped to follow in Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong’s footsteps by moving away from Amsterdam last summer.
He was linked with the likes of Man United and Arsenal but nothing ever materialised and he then signed a new three-year deal with Ajax.
It appears, however, that the Moroccan will be getting a Premier League move this summer, with De Telegraaf reporting on Chelsea’s interest in him.
The Blues are claimed to have a verbal agreement with Ajax to complete a £38million transfer at the end of the season. The Athletic have also confirmed talks have taken place.
Furthermore, the report claims Blues boss Frank Lampard ordered the club’s hierarchy to strike a deal for Ziyech this summer after the west Londoners failed to make any signings in January.
However, Chelsea landing Ziyech could depend on whether they can secure Champions League football for next season.
They are still in this season’s competition – where they next face Bayern Munich in the round-of-16 – but finishing in the top four of the Premier League seems their most likely route.
Chelsea are only two points ahead of Sheffield United in fourth meaning the door is still open for other European clubs to match their offer.
Ziyech was placed among UEFA’s top 20 performers in last season’s Champions League which saw Ajax reach the semi-finals before being knocked out by Tottenham in a thrilling tie.
This term, Ziyech faced Chelsea twice in the group stage – Chelsea winning 1-0 at the Amsterdam ArenA before the two sides played out a thrilling 4-4 draw in London.
Ajax surprisingly finished third in that group, meaning they will play in the Europa League throughout the second half of the season.