Rabat- Amid the perception of sustained interest from some of Europe’s biggest teams, Hakim Ziyech’s Dutch Club, Ajax Amsterdam, has renewed its exit clause with the Moroccan football player.
Ziyech’s sustained brilliance in both the Dutch league and the European Champions League is backing up the notion that he could be of enormous significance for any squad seeking to maintain or raise its attacking standards.
Dutch outlet De Telegraaf reported on October 4 that Ajax has decided to “remove clause” from Ziyech’s contract so that the player’s European suitors can no longer pay “only €30 million” for Ziyech.
By removing the €30-million clause from Ziyech’s contract, the Dutch club is partly understood to have sealed Ziyech’s undisputed tenure in the team’s project. Also relevant here is he Dutch champions’ perceived desire to seek more financial benefits from selling a player whose sustained performance means, as far as business is concerned, suitors’ increased willingness to buy.
As well as sending the message that Ziyech is worth more than €30 million on the current transfer market, however, Ajax is also brushing aside any doubts they may have had about the Moroccan’s value or commitment to the club, according to De Telegraaf.
Dubbing Ziyech “the Moroccan magician,” the Dutch newspaper suggested that Ajax’s move came as a result of “improved commitment” on both Ziyech’s and Ajax’s management sides. Both parties are understood, from the spirit driving the renewed contract, signed last month, to value their current relationship.
But while the move clears out suggestions of Ziyech leaving the club during the January window in European football transfer, it remains to be seen whether the “Moroccan magician” will stay much longer in the Dutch capital.
Ajax is yet to specify a new amount for Ziyech’s exit clause, but the player’s current status means that prospective amount will be far higher than the previous, €30-million clause.
In a highly inflated market for football transfers, where clubs can pay exorbitant fees for a player they feel is needed to strengthen their squad, €50 or 70 million (a safe interval bet for an exit clause, should Ziyech keep up his current shape by the time one suitor finally comes knocking) is not particularly high for European heavy weights who still continue to verbally court the Moroccan’s services.
Clubs like Arsenal and Bayern Munich are still reportedly following up with their desire to sign the Moroccan playmaker. Most recently, however, there are suggestions that Zinedine Zidane’s in-transition Real Madrid is among those seriously considering singing Ziyech.
Madrid, one recent report suggested, is battling with England’s giants, including Unai Emery’s in-transition, promising Arsenal and Guardiola’s excellent Manchester City, to get the Moroccan from Ajax for an estimated fee of €50 million.
While there has only been desultory mention of Ziyech in Real Madrid’s transfer targets, the idea of adding the Moroccan to a struggling Real Madrid team now easily comes across as a reliable, sensible suggestion as Real Madrid battles to improve its collective, sharpen its attacking arsenal.
Although leading the Spanish league at the moment of this writing, Madrid has been largely unrecognizable on numerous occasions in the past weeks.
What is more, with France’s PSG keen on keeping Neymar (Madrid’s priority) at all costs, and Real Madrid not really impressed with Eden Hazard, its biggest transfer after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, the idea of adding Ziyech to the squad is even more matter-of-fact. Football, however, is pretty much a mercurial business: Ziyech may end up extending with Ajax or signing with a club that has not been even cited among the frontrunners in the race to lure the Moroccan from Amsterdam.
Key in the next Ziyech-Ajax-Europe tale will depend largely on the Moroccan’s form in this year’s Champions league. Should Ajax impress as they did last year, and should Ziyech be an invaluable, integral part of yet another stellar Ajax squad, €60 or 70 million for the Moroccan is no deterrence for a European market where clubs have paid as much for defenders or goalkeepers.