Manchester United report: Chelsea star lined up in shock move
Manchester United are still looking for their ideal right-winger, with Erik ten Hag targeting a Chelsea star out of favour at Stamford Bridge
Manchester United have turned to a Chelsea winger in their searching for attacking thrust – and could launch a shock bid.
That's according to reports that back up rumours that Erik ten Hag is still searching for multiple new signings before the transfer window slams shut. United kick off in the Premier League this weekend against Brighton & Hove Albion and have spent most of the summer embroiled in transfer sagas.
Although Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen have all moved to Old Trafford, United are still on the hunt for a right-back, defensive midfielder, a right-winger and potentially a replacement for the wantaway Cristiano Ronaldo. Chelsea, it seems, could offer a solution to one of those quandaries.
According to French journalist Nabil Djellit (opens in new tab), Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech is wanted by the Red Devils, with Ten Hag seeing the star as a "priority". The Moroccan was believed to be heading to AC Milan (opens in new tab) during this transfer window but the move is yet to materialise – Chelsea would be reluctant, meanwhile, to sell to a rival for the top four.
Ten Hag knows Ziyech extremely well, too. The Dutchman managed the Chelsea star while at Ajax, relying on him as a leader of the team, as Ziyech was one of the older heads. The Moroccan matured as a player and a person in Amsterdam according to fans, after he lost the captaincy while at former club Twente.
Now 29, Ziyech has been at Stamford Bridge since 2020, joining after the Eredivisie was cancelled during lockdown. Ten Hag perhaps got the best form out of the 'Wizard of Amsterdam', putting in a masterclass away in west London in a match that prompted Chelsea to fork out around £40 million for his signature.
It's unlikely that the Blues will recoup that sort of figure for the star – Manchester Evening News (opens in new tab) say the deal could be worth under £10m – though he is under contract until 2025.
United's hierarchy are believed to be split (opens in new tab) about whether to pursue the move for Ziyech, who quit international football earlier in 2022 following a dispute with Morocco (opens in new tab) after being snubbed from the nation's AFCON squad.
The winger is just the latest of a number of Ten Hag's former stars to have been linked with a reunion with the 52-year-old. Frenkie de Jong is rumoured to be United's top target during this transfer window, while Sergino Dest (opens in new tab) is the latest. He follows Antony, Jurrien Timber, Sebastien Haller, Matthijs De Ligt and Lisandro Martinez, who have all been touted for moves to Manchester. Only the latter has ended up joining United so far.
Ziyech is valued at around £25m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
More Manchester United stories
The end of the transfer window is set to be busy for Manchester United, with four more signings targeted. As many as six defenders could leave the club, too.
The Frenkie de Jong saga continues to tick over. Cristiano Ronaldo would reportedly be unhappy if De Jong commanded a higher wage than him, while Chelsea also have an interest in the Dutchman – and a plan to hijack his move. Sergino Dest – another Ajax star under Ten Hag who moved to Barcelona – is also an option, while potential Ronaldo replacement Benjamin Sesko has been linked.
Benjamin Pavard has apparently been offered to United by Bayern Munich, while another Bundesliga star is also on the shortlist. Meanwhile, Dean Henderson has criticised his treatment at Old Trafford last season.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.