Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has identified Chelsea attacker Hakim Ziyech as one of his priorities, according to French journalist Nabil Djellit.
The Red Devils are eager to bolster their attack during the final month of the transfer window, but are yet to enter advanced negotiations to sign any player.
Antony was the prime target for Ten Hag earlier this summer, but a deal appears no longer feasible with Ajax setting a hefty price tag of £84 million for his services.
Amidst this, the club are looking at alternative targets. Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko has been identified as an option to bolster the striking department.
On the other hand, it appears Ten Hag is keen on a reunion with Ziyech. The Moroccan played under him for two-and-a-half seasons at Ajax before moving to Chelsea in 2020.
The Dutch tactician has identified the 29-year-old as one of his priorities, but the decision is not said to be ‘unanimous’ within United. They are reluctant to pursue a deal.
Ziyech could be a stop-gap option before Antony arrives
United were heavily linked with Antony at the beginning of the summer. A verbal offer of around £50m was made only for Ajax to send a counter-proposal of £67m.
The Eredivisie outfit have since increased the price tag to £84m, and we don’t see United making such a huge outlay on a player that has just recovered from an ankle injury.
Hence, they could delay their pursuit of Antony until next summer. In that case, Ten Hag may want a short-term solution, and Ziyech could be a decent signing for him.
The Moroccan was splendid under his guidance at Ajax which earned him a big-money move to Chelsea.
Ziyech has since struggled to replicate the feat with the higher intensity of the Premier League while the competition for places has meant that he has not always started games.
Last season, he fared decently with eight goals and six assists from 44 appearances for Chelsea. Ziyech was limited to just 57 minutes per game over the course of the campaign.
His statistics are not overly impressive, but would still provide a solid upgrade on Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga on the right wing while competing with Jadon Sancho.
Ziyech can also operate from the number 10 position, but the arrival of Christian Eriksen suggests that Ten Hag’s intention could be to bolster the right side of the attack with his former star.
Whether the hierarchy sanction the deal is another big question. He is valued at £25.2 million by Transfermarkt. Chelsea may not sell for less due to the Premier League rivalry.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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