Marcel Brands faces a major hurdle if he is to land Hakim Ziyech, as Sueddeutsche understands Bayern Munich are showing particularly intense interest in the Ajax star.
The Bavarian giants face the prospect of rebuilding their attack next season, depending on the decision made over James Rodriguez’s loan-to-buy from Real Madrid, with the Colombian often floating from favourite to outcast at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern are also preparing to lose both iconic wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben in the summer, and will be keen to strengthen their ranks beyond Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, who are becoming ever-more integral members of the Bundesliga side’s first-team.
Ziyech, meanwhile, has been one of the many stars of Ajax’s glorious Champions League quest, which could not be brought to a halt by Juventus on Tuesday night, when the plucky young Eredivisie side beat the Old Lady to secure a place in the Semi-Finals against one of Manchester City or Tottenham.
Unfortunately for Ajax, their efforts on the continental stage have shone a bright spotlight on their players, and will likely now part ways with the Everton-linked David Neres, Ziyech and Matthijs de Ligt, along with the Barcelona-bound Frenkie de Jong, no matter how desperate they are to retain them.
Ajax will be set to profit comfortably from their sales, though, as GGFN have noted a figure of €35million (£30.3m) is currently being circulated around the European media for Ziyech.
Along with the fee, GGFN note that we, Chelsea and Leicester are also keen to sign the Moroccan, who has scored 17 goals for Ajax in the Champions League and Eredivisie, and assisted a further 14, so far this season.
This is not the first time we have been linked with Ziyech, either, as a previous report that suggested Bayern and Borussia Dortmund had made contact with Ajax over the 26-year-old’s availability mentioned the Toffees.
We may now face an uphill battle to land the Champions League sensation, but Brands should stay on the case until the player’s paperwork is filed elsewhere, as the creative midfielder has the potential to flip the scrip at Goodison Park.
For much of the season, Gylfi Sigurdsson has been one of our top goalscorers, but the Iceland international also fell off the pace in the winter and struggled to help the side during our troublesome period.
Fans then called for the 29-year-old to be dropped by Marco Silva, but the boss has mostly kept faith in the attacking midfielder, who has endured fairly lengthy gaps between having an impact on the scoresheet.
Ziyech, on the other hand, endured his longest drought in August, when he went five games without a goal or assist, but has since been awarded the Man of the Match accolade on eleven occasions.