Chelsea have identified Hakim Ziyech as a priority summer signing, according to reports.
The playmaker has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Premier League after his impressive performances helped Ajax reach last season’s Champions League semi-final.
The Moroccan international scored three goals and provided three assists during the competition, including netting in the eventual last four defeat against Tottenham.
The 26-year-old also stood out in the 4-4 draw against Chelsea in November, which has put him firmly on the radar of Frank Lampard’s side.
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And according to ESPN, Chelsea have now targeted Ziyech as a priority in the summer transfer window.
The Blues will likely face fierce competition for his signature, with previous links to the likes of Tottenham, Barcelona and Arsenal.
And it is the Gunners who may have been handed an avenue to securing his services, should they target a move.
In an old video on Twitter, Ziyech took part in a Q&A with former Ajax teammate Justin Kluivert, now at Italian side Roma, where he revealed that it was his ‘dream’ to play for Arsenal.
Asked which club he’d like to play for in the future, he responded: “Well, I have two clubs. They are Arsenal and Barcelona. That is my ultimate dream.”
In the same sequence of questions, Ziyech was also asked who his football idol is and revealed it is none other than Arsenal’s very own Mesut Ozil.
Last season, Ziyech’s performances on the European stage were matched by his domestic achievements as he helped Ajax win the Eredivisie title and the KNVB cup.
The midfielder also claimed the club’s Player of the Year award, after netting 21 goals and 24 assists in 49 games.
Speaking last summer, Ajax director of football Marc Overmars confirmed the club would eventually allow him to leave.
“He leaves when…