The Hague: Hakim Ziyech is all set to join Chelsea from Ajax this summer in a 40 million-euro ($43.4 million) deal, the Dutch champions and the London club confirmed on Thursday.
“Ajax and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of Hakim Ziyech. The player will join the Premier League club on July 1st 2020 and will finish the season in Amsterdam,” the Eredivisie outfit said in a statement.
“The clubs have agreed a deal of €40 million euros. This sum could potentially increase to a maximum of €44 million, with variable factors.”
Chelsea also announced that they have reached a deal with Ajax to get Ziyech in the summer.
The announcement ends days of speculation over the future of attacking midfielder Ziyech, 26, who joined Ajax in 2016 from fellow Eredivisie club FC Twente for a fee of 11 million euros.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believed Ziyech “is a top player and such an essential reinforcement to his 11 that he gave the club instructions to have a deal done before the summer,” Dutch daily tabloid De Telegraaf said.
Ajax is known for selling home-grown talent to richer European clubs. After last season, they sold Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus and Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona.
De Telegraaf said the chance to play Champions League football at Chelsea was “an important condition” for Ziyech, who has scored a total of 47 goals in 157 appearances for Ajax.
Ajax reached the semi-final of the competition last year, but this season they were eliminated in the group stage, in part because they lost at home to Chelsea and later threw away a three-goal lead at Stamford Bridge.
The top two finishers in the Dutch league qualify each year and Ajax are top, 10 points clear of third-place Willem II.
Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League, which would earn a Champions League spot, but their poor form has allowed a chasing pack of five clubs to close in.
They are still in this season’s Champions League and could qualify for next season by winning it.
Ziyech joined Ajax in 2016 from fellow Eredivisie club FC Twente for a fee of 11 million euros.
(With AFP inputs)
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