Ajax have confirmed that their star winger Hakim Ziyech is going to leave the club this summer, sparking a mass scramble for the Moroccan’s services among Europe’s elite in the coming weeks.
The 26-year-old was named the club’s player of the year for a second consecutive season and has been outstanding throughout the campaign, scoring 21 times and assisting 24 in all competitions.
Like many of his Ajax teammates, it has been his displays in the Champions League in particular which has seen his stock rise this season, leading to some of the world’s biggest clubs attempting to secure his signature.
With an incredibly low €25m release clause in his contract, Ziyech is surely set to be one of the bargains of this summer’s transfer window but who wants him and will be the one to get him?
Here is a list of the contenders and how likely he is to join them.
The Serie A champions are preparing for a summer of change with manager Massimiliano Allegri set to depart the club when the season finishes and there are reports attackers Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa are also set to leave the Old Lady come the end of the campaign.
If that is the case the new manager, whoever that may be, could well see Ziyech as a perfect player to bring in as a replacement for the two South American stars, with the Ajax man’s ability to create goalscoring opportunities for his teammates sure to excite Juve’s main man Cristiano Ronaldo.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Italian side at present, however, the opportunity to sign Ziyech may well pass Juventus by.
Likelihood rating: 3/10
Despite having one of the most dangerous attacking tridents in world football it is no secret that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is on the lookout for another versatile forward for his squad and Ziyech may well fit the bill.
The former FC Twente man is able to play in all positions across the front three with his pace and creativity seemingly ideal for the way Klopp likes to play.
With Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino assured of their places in the starting XI however, Ziyech may decide he is more likely to get regular first-team football elsewhere, while Liverpool look for cheaper backup.
Likelihood rating: 3/10
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are crying out for a new right winger and have been since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
While reports suggest their main target for the position was Borussia Dortmund‘s Jadon Sancho, before the failure to qualify for the Champions League all but ruled that deal out, it would be extremely remiss of the Red Devils not to target a deal for Ziyech during this window.
With the club needing so many players in a variety of positions, the chance to obtain such a high-quality player for just €25m is one they should seriously consider, especially having paid over the odds on multiple occasions in the last few years.
With United unable to offer Champions League football however, it would be a surprise for Ziyech to choose them over other teams who will be in next season’s competition.
Likelihood rating: 4/10
The Ligue 1 champions are always on the hunt for attacking players to improve their squad and, having come up short in the European Cup once again this year, they may well look to freshen up their frontline with a move for one of the competition’s star performers this season.
With the future of Edinson Cavani up in the air, PSG may well look to Ziyech to fill the void if he is to depart.
Assuming Kylian Mbappe stays, following PSG’s latest statement on his future, an attack consisting of the French superstar, Neymar and Ziyech could be enough to take them all the way in Europe next season.
Likelihood rating: 5/10
Despite picking up their seventh consecutive Bundesliga title recently it is set to be a summer of upheaval in Bavaria with an ageing squad requiring an injection of youth as they attempt to challenge again for the Champions League.
In no position is this more apparent than out-wide where stalwart wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are both leaving this summer.
While they have Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry in their ranks, Ziyech may well prove to be a step-up in quality from those two and, with the Bayern board known for not paying excessive fees, the release clause could lead to them taking the plunge on a player with such huge potential.
Likelihood rating: 7/10
An interview from two years ago has resurfaced recently where Ziyech described a move to Arsenal as his ‘dream’ and that Gunners star Mesut Ozil was his ‘idol’.
With manager Unai Emery in the market for a winger this summer, it could end up being a match made in heaven, with Arsenal desperate for a player of Ziyech’s quality in the wide positions.
Despite claiming it was his dream to come to the Emirates, in reality Ziyech will not want to spend a year out of the Champions League as he approaches the peak of his career and this deal may well be dependant on whether or not Arsenal make next year’s competition by winning the Europa League final against Chelsea on 29 May.
If they do though, Ziyech’s dream may well come to fruition.
Likelihood rating: 7/10 (8/10 with Europa League victory)