Football: Ajax confirm Ziyech to join Chelsea in close season

Ajax Amsterdam have agreed to sell Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea for an initial $60.4 million.
Ajax Amsterdam have agreed to sell Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea for an initial $60.4 million.PHOTO: REUTERS

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS, AFP) - Ajax Amsterdam have agreed to sell Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea for an initial €40 million (S$60.4 million) in the close season, the Dutch club said on Thursday (Feb 13).

Ziyech, who helped Ajax win the league and Dutch Cup double last season, has seen his stock rise further this campaign with eight goals and 18 assists in the league and Champions League.

The fee for the 26-year-old could rise to €44 million, Ajax added.

"Ajax and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of Hakim Ziyech. The player will join the Premier League club on July 1, 2020 and will finish the season in Amsterdam," the Dutch champions said on their website.

The announcement ends days of speculation over the future of attacking midfielder Ziyech, who joined Ajax in 2016 from fellow Eredivisie club FC Twente for a fee of €11 million.

Ajax are 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.

Dutch tabloid 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-finals 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-placed Willem II.