It would be fair to say that Hakim Ziyech has not enjoyed the impact at Chelsea that he would have anticipated when he joined from Ajax in 2020. There have been some strong, positive moments along the way, but with him seemingly frozen out at Stamford Bridge, the time is probably right for him to move on. That move is now very close.
Ziyech, a Morocco international, is certainly a player that is capable on his day of mixing it at the higher end of the game. However, that side to his game has not been seen anywhere near enough, and new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino does not see him as part of his plans, meaning a transfer away looks the best solution for all parties.
The 30-year-old was not involved on the opening weekend of the Premier League season as Chelsea started life under ‘Poch' with an entertaining 1-1 draw, and he has not really been involved in their pre-season campaign either. He did tick over across the summer with some minutes for his country in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and friendly, so is likely to be rusty as he looks to return to action with his soon to be new club.
Who is that proposed new club? Well, it has been reported by Jacob Steinberg on social media that he is travelling for a medical with Turkish side Galatasaray. He also went as far to say that it is ‘likely' that this deal will go through. The Super Lig season is up and running, whilst the 23-time league champions are also in UEFA Champions League qualification action. Getting through in Europe probably being a big lure for Ziyech making this switch.
Transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has also sprinkled more detail over this potential transfer. He has revealed that a ‘verbal agreement' is in place between the two clubs, and did also throw some small caution over expecting this deal to go through without a hitch. He highlighted Ziyech having issues over medicals when possible moves to Paris Saint-Germain and Al Nassr fell through.
Agreeing a fee should not really be seen as a massive issue given that Chelsea are clearly keen to get the player off their wage bill, and the player himself will also want to go out and play regular football again. Much was expected when Chelsea parted with roughly €40million to snap him up for Ajax three years ago, but the overall assessment most fans would have on his time with the club as somewhat underwhelming.
Moving to Galatasaray and having European football would at least ensure Ziyech is still playing on the big stage, whilst the chance to win domestic honours is never a bad thing. They are the reigning champions of the Turkish top flight and having already signed the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Mauro Icardi and Kerem Demirbay, and soon maybe Ziyech, they'll expect another league title to add to their huge tally.
For all that Chelsea are also allowing players to move, they are certainly making big moves to add to Pochettino's squad. Romeo Lavia is one player that is expected to come into the club in the very near future, whilst Crystal Palace's Michael Olise is another top young talent that the Blues are looking to recruit for their Premier League campaign.