Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars is resigned to losing Hakim Ziyech this summer.
The 26-year-old forward played a pivotal role in the Amsterdammers winning a domestic double as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals.
Ziyech in Amsterdam: Five things to know…
- Ziyech joined Ajax from FC Twente in August 2016.
- His first season culminated in a Europa League final.
- Ziyech has made no fewer than 130 appearances in all competitions, registering 40 goals and 61 assists.
- He was named as Ajax’s player of the year in 2018 and 2019.
- Ziyech played a key role in Ajax winning the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double this season plus making the Champions League semi-finals.
Ziyech, though, was expected to leave the Dutch capital following the 2017/18 season but no concrete offers came in for him, nor was he enthused with those supposedly interested.
Overmars prepared for his departure by signing Dusan Tadic from Southampton, though with Ziyech remaining the pair subsequently formed a formidable partnership.
The newfound tandem, coupled with other bright stars in Erik ten Hag’s team, catapulted the Dutch giants to an unlikely run to the Champions League semi-finals as well as cleaning up at home.
Ziyech’s performances subsequently grabbed the attention of many clubs across Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues, including Champions League finalists Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, who reached Madrid at Ajax’s expense.
Overmars, same as last year, will not stand in Ziyech’s way if a club of his dreams comes knocking for him.
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“He leaves when a top club comes,” he said. “He is in focus because of his achievements in the Champions League.
“Many big clubs are buzzing around him. We promised Hakim [that we would] agree to a good transfer.”
Contrary to what has been reported, there is no release clause inserted into Ziyech’s current deal with Ajax, which expires in June 2021.
And for very good reason. They are in no desperate need to sell and by having such a clause, they wouldn’t receive his true valuation. Whoever is to be Ziyech’s next club know he won’t come as cheap as the reported £25m.