Chelsea put attacker ‘on the market’ as Newcastle prepare swoop while star eyes Barcelona opening

Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea, form a defensive wall during Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park Credit: Alamy
Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea, form a defensive wall during Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park Credit: Alamy

Chelsea have decided on who the main casualty of their attacking spending spree will be, according to reports, with the player in question now facing a choice between two destinations.

Since Todd Boehly became Chelsea’s owner last year, they have been aggressive in the transfer market. In terms of attackers alone, they signed Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the summer window.

In January, they have bolstered their frontline further with the additions of Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana and Noni Madueke.

With only 22 goals from their first 19 games of the Premier League season, it is easy to see why they have been looking for new ideas up front. No other team in the top half at present has been as ineffective in front of goal this season.

Now, Graham Potter has plenty of options at his disposal. In turn, though, Chelsea will likely have to say goodbye to some of their existing options.

The likes of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and even Sterling himself have been facing uncertain futures. Another player at risk of a departure is Hakim Ziyech.

The Morocco international has struggled to live up to expectations since joining from Ajax in 2020. He has only managed to score 14 goals from 97 games for the club.

His record with Ajax was far superior, since he scored 49 goals from 165 games for them. For whatever reason, Ziyech hasn’t been able to find the same consistency in the Premier League.

Now, a report from Diario Sport has confirmed that Ziyech is “on the market” after Chelsea’s recent splurge on attacking recruits.

Interestingly, the Spanish source suggests that Ziyech has actually offered himself to Barcelona. After they let Memphis Depay leave for Atletico Madrid, there is an opening in their own attack and Ziyech knows it.

Barcelona tried to sign him before Chelsea got hold of him originally and have shown further interest since then. Hence, it could be third time lucky as they try to take him to La Liga.

Ziyech finds the idea of playing for Barcelona attractive. Therefore, he is pushing for the move to Camp Nou.

However, the report concludes that they will not be his only suitors. Since he impressed at the World Cup, “many more teams” will be in the hunt for the attacking midfielder.

Newcastle about to ask for Hakim Ziyech loan

One could offer him a different challenge in the Premier League. Recently, Newcastle have been linked with Ziyech as well.

Things are going well for Newcastle this season. They are above Chelsea in the table and currently occupy one of the Champions League spaces.

Adding a player of Ziyech’s calibre – if he can turn around his fortunes in the Premier League – may help them preserve their position.

And it is now being claimed that Newcastle are readying their approach to Chelsea.

Transfer journalist Dean Jones has told Give Me Sport: “The Madueke deal will probably trigger the exit of Hakim Ziyech, so that’s the next situation to look out for.

“Newcastle are primed with an offer to take him on loan.”

The loan formula would reduce any major risk for Newcastle if Ziyech does not live up to expectations, as has been the case at Stamford Bridge.

With his contract up in 2025, it remains to be seen if Chelsea would entertain a loan exit for the Dutch-born player, or if they would prefer to sell him as soon as possible.

In theory, his market value could increase if he does well on loan elsewhere. And realistically, they would struggle to recoup what they paid for him now. Therefore, it might be the most sensible solution for now before another decision can be made in the summer.

Still, it seems Ziyech has his heart set on a move to Barcelona. Newcastle would have to be convincing in their pitch to him. But at the end of the day, Chelsea will have a big say on what happens with him regardless.

READ MORE: Chelsea make interest known in promising Ligue 1 right-back as they aim to beat Man City, Tottenham to talent

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