Ajax’s hopes of securing a reunion with former star Hakim Ziyech are in danger of falling apart with talks between Chelsea and the Dutch giants failing to progress.
The attacking midfielder scored 49 times and added 81 assists during a four-year stint in Amsterdam before joining Chelsea for £33.3million in 2020.
But his spell at Stamford Bridge didn’t prove so successful, with the Moroccan star keen to leave the club after failing to land a regular place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI.
Ajax tried to bring him back to the club but the talks didn’t go well and the Dutch side are now considering moving on to other goals.
Hakim Ziyech’s move to Ajax from Chelsea in danger of falling apart, talks not going well
Thomas Tuchel has his work cut out for him in these last days of the summer transfer window
Should the move fall through, Ziyech will join a long list of stars at Stamford Bridge who are not wanted by Thomas Tuchel but are also unable to walk away from the club.
After Sunday’s embarrassing 3-0 loss to Leeds, Tuchel still has a lot of work to do in the transfer window, which ends at 11pm on September 1.
They have been heavily linked to the moves of Wesley Fofana, Anthony Gordon, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong.
It’s not just the starters that Tuchel will be busy with in the final days of the window, but also the starters, as Chelsea’s great squad needs to be trimmed down.
There are plenty of players with no future who are still part of the Stamford Bridge setup, but Chelsea’s challenge will be to offload those on their books who are on much higher salaries than they would receive elsewhere.
Ross Barkley, Kenedy, Michy Batshuayi, Ethan Ampadu and Billy Gilmour have all not been given squad numbers this year, suggesting their careers lie elsewhere, but Tuchel was unable to offload any of them so far this summer.
Ross Barkley is part of the bloated Chelsea squad and hasn’t been given a number before the season
Hot prospect Billy Gilmour has also fallen out of favor after a loan spell with Norwich City
Barkley has played just 215 Premier League minutes for Chelsea over the past two seasons, but there are no signs the former Everton wonderkid will walk away, with a year left on his contract.
Marcos Alonso, now third-choice left-back, was expected to leave this summer, but a transfer offer to Barcelona is pending as the Catalan club continue to deal with their financial problems, with Xavi’s side still not in place. able to record summer signing of £46million Jules. Kounde.
Tuchel has confirmed that Alonso is set to leave after leaving him for the season opener at Everton.
The German said: “He (Alonso) is trying to leave and we accepted that wish and that’s why it wouldn’t make sense to put him on the pitch today.”
“He would have been on the pitch otherwise, but I think in this situation it was the right thing to do.”
However, the Spaniard is nowhere near leaving and is currently in limbo, waiting for a move away from the club to materialise, like other unwanted stars such as Batshuayi and Baba Rahman.
Marcos Alonso was expected to join Barcelona but is one of many Chelsea players in limbo
Michy Batshuayi hasn’t played a competitive game for Chelsea in over two years
Batshuayi hasn’t played for the club in over two years but remains on the books at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea unable to move the Belgian.
Others in the will-they-won’t-they position include Conor Gallagher. Much excitement greeted Gallagher’s first competitive start for Chelsea on Sunday after several impressive loan spells.
But he struggled to deal with Leeds’ pressing style, leading to claims the former Palace star failed his audition, with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic missing the clash due to a wound.
Chelsea’s display, with Gallagher looking uncomfortable in a deeper role than the one he played last season, has raised questions about whether Tuchel sees a future for the 22-year-old in his system, with many Premier League clubs, notably Palace, ready to pounce if he becomes available.
Christian Pulisic is another striker on the run and is worried about his playing time ahead of representing the United States at the World Cup in Qatar.
Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher struggled in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Leeds
Like Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also keen on a move after seeing their regular football opportunities limited over the past year.
At the top of Tuchel’s receiving plateau over the next few days will be settling the future of these runaway forwards, although Hudson-Odoi is set to join Bayer Leverkusen on loan.
Pulisic is desperate to leave for regular football before representing the United States at the World Cup, but it looks like the American won’t be able to secure a transfer despite interest from Manchester United.
Tuchel insisted ahead of the weekend that he was reluctant to allow departures after his side were hit by an injury crisis at the start of the season.
Ziyech grew frustrated with his lack of playing time under Tuchel at Stamford Bridge
He said: “I know there’s a lot of talk but [I] also won’t comment on our players. We will not encourage our players to go out at this time.
‘We have now had two training sessions [this week] with 18 players and in a schedule where we play once a week, it’s not a problem.
“We will need a lot of quality players and players to be competitive. At the moment, as I said, we have what we have.
“We know what we are looking for. From there we go and only from there can we think about letting the players go.
Young striker Armando Broja is also waiting to see if he will be loaned out, with the Albanian likely to slip down the pecking order if Chelsea bring in another striker.
Chelsea’s plan to sell Hakim Ziyech to Ajax risks unraveling with talks not going well