Ajax will allow Hakim Ziyech to leave this January should their €50m (£43m) valuation be met, with Arsenal interested in a move for the forward – according to one Italian source.
The Moroccan was linked with the Gunners over the summer but the north London outfit instead opted to break their club-record transfer fee with the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille.
With the January transfer window now in full swing, Ziyech is on course to smash his previous best for assists in a single league season after already notching 12 in just 17 Eredivisie outings. His fine form has also seen him bag six goals, with clubs across Europe taking note as they look to make the necessary reinforcements over the winter period.
According to Calciomercato, Arsenal are one such side. They claim there is ‘strong’ interest in the 26-year-old, with Ajax willing to sanction his departure this month if they can recoup the aforementioned fee.
The Italian publication’s report stretches to no more than three sentences, however, with little to no information other than Arsenal being ‘interested’.
Unquestionably one of the most exciting forwards in Europe at present, why the Gunners would be willing to part with a significant sum of money during the window when there are clearly other areas that need prioritising poses plenty of questions.
Calum Chambers has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while at full-back both Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin remain sidelined – the Scotsman not due to return until March. Equally, reports have suggested that a midfielder is high on Mikel Arteta’s list of targets, not another forward to complement the one area of the pitch the Gunners are well stocked in.
Granted, Calciomercato’s report merely mentions Arsenal’s interest in the player, something many clubs across Europe can also be credited with.
Ziyech plays in an Ajax side who like to press high up the pitch, and this is a tactic that Arteta is looking to embed into his new side as he tweaks the style of play in north London.
However, even though his skillset will fit those criteria, given the Gunners’ tight budget and the fact other areas are of far more importance, it seems wholly unlikely that this is a move that will come to fruition – at least in this window, anyway.
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