Chelsea summer signing Hakim Ziyech has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.
According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes.net, as carried by TEAMtalk, Chelsea could be forced into taking a decision on the future of star man Hakim Ziyech amid interest from La Liga giants Atletico Madrid ahead of the summer transfer window.
Having attained stardom with Dutch giants AFC Ajax, Ziyech made the switch to Chelsea in the summer transfer window last year. However, he has failed to make the kind of impact that was expected from him upon his arrival.
Following an injury-riddled start, the Moroccan midfielder showed his quality in a few games, but another injury followed by the change of managers has meant that he is yet to establish himself as a regular at Stamford Bridge. Ziyech, so far in his tenure with the club, has scored just two goals, having not netted since October last year.
Since Thomas Tuchel took over the reins of the club from Frank Lampard towards the end of January, Ziyech has started just two Premier League games, leading to reports of growing frustrations within the player.
The German tactician, having switched to a 3-4-2-1 formation, has largely preferred to use Mason Mount and Timo Werner as his two attacking midfielders, leaving Ziyech out in the cold.
Ziyech did get a starting berth in the weekend’s Premier League encounter against Manchester United, but the Moroccan failed to make the most of it. Now, his situation has seen La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid take notice, with a view of making a summer move for him.
Los Rojiblancos who have enjoyed a memorable campaign thus far, are staring at the prospect of losing Vitolo in the summer. That would open up a slot in the attacking unit at the club, which they are hoping to fill with a high-profile signing, making Ziyech a viable target for Diego Simeone’s men.
The report also goes on to add that Chelsea manager Tuchel would be open to sanctioning an exit for the 27-year-old, even though he is contracted with the west London outfit till the summer of 2025. Atletico Madrid are not the only club looking at Ziyech, with Serie A giants Juventus and AC Milan also keeping tabs on his situation.
Despite the speculations, it is unlikely that Chelsea would consider the sale of one of their marquee summer signings just a year after signing him. Ziyech has had some problems with fitness in his first season at Stamford Bridge but remains a top-quality player who can prove to be clutch for the Blues in the years to come.
But, if Chelsea do decide to cut their losses on the Moroccan, given that they might need to balance the books as they pursue the big-money signing of Erling Haaland, Atletico Madrid will be waiting in the wings to swoop for the former Ajax man.