Tag Archives: Transfer window

Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech set to join Chelsea this summer

After a verbal agreement was reached between Chelsea and Ajax, Hakim Ziyech is set to join the Premier League side for €45 million.

Ziyech, who had signed a three-year contract with the Dutch giants this past August, was linked to a move to England for some time. However, the South London club were the only ones able to snatch the 26-year-old.

Criticized for not making a move during the winter transfer window, especially after fighting to get their ban removed, Chelsea were able to add a player who can make a difference on the pitch.

 Already filled with tons of young talent on the squad, the Moroccan international brings an impressive pedigree from the Netherlands and is hoping to having similar success in one of the best league’s in the world. 

The attacking midfielder has some familiarity of what the Blues are all about, having played them twice this season during the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

During his senior career, Ziyech has scored 79 goals in 211 appearances for Heerenveen, Twente, and Ajax. However, he was most known for his excellent passing, leading the Eredivisie in assists four times over the course of his career.

Most of Ziyech’s success came after playing for de Godenzonen, where he was Ajax’s Player of the Year twice, included in the Eredivise’s Team of the Year three times, and, most notably, part of the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season last year when the Dutch side made a surprise run to the semi-finals of the tournament before losing to Tottenham.

After some notable players, particularly Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) and Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona), on the team left for bigger clubs, Ziyech opted to stay in Amsterdam, where he currently has 6 goals and 12 assists this season.

As a member of the Atlas Lions, Ziyech has scored 14 goals in 32 appearances for the country, where he pledged his allegiance over the Netherlands. Having represented Morocco in some major tournaments such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, he was a part of the 2019 CAF’s Team of the Year.

With several big names in the club who have expiring contracts, Ziyech is brought in to provide some much-needed assistance. As Chelsea finally make a move for the club, fans are hoping that Ziyech is the answer to help the squad do well in domestic and European competition. 

Inter Miami keen on signing Edinson Cavani and Luka Modrić

With the MLS season set to begin at the end of this month, Inter Miami are hoping to sign Edinson Cavani and Luka Modrić away from their respective clubs. 

The club, who are part-owned by football legend David Beckham, are looking for some reinforcements for this season, particularly one’s they think will make a big splash in the league.

Cavani, whose contract with Paris Saint-Germain is set to expire at the end of this season, has been left out of Thomas Tuchel’s plans as the German manager has been pairing Inter Milan-loanee Mauro Icardi alongside generational-talent Kylian Mbappé. After rumors that the Uruguayan striker was on the move to Atlético Madrid this past transfer window, the deal did not materialize.

The 32-year-old has been lethal for Les Parisiens, scoring 136 goals in 196 appearances for the French giants. However, in 10 league appearances this season, Cavani has only scored twice. This move to the Western Hemisphere could be a win-win situation as Cavani would get the opportunity to star in Vice City whereas PSG can unload the disgruntled striker and not worry about any more chaos.

 On the other hand, Modrić is going to be more difficult to sway as Real Madrid are currently in the top spot of La Liga.

The Croatian-midfielder, whose has a contract with Los Blancos until June 2020, has been a vital part of the club’s success since his arrival in 2012 from Tottenham Hotspur. Since his arrival, Real Madrid have won four UEFA Champions League, four FIFA Club World Cups, and the league in 2017. However, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner has been limited this season due to the rise of Fede Valverde.

As a new franchise in the league, Inter Miami are hoping to secure some big signings that could help them have a successful inaugural season. However, time is ticking for The Herons as they open the season on March 1 away against last year’s Supporter’s Shield winner LAFC.

Emre Can returns to Germany after signing loan deal with Borussia Dortmund

Juventus midfielder Emre Can signed a season-ending loan deal with Borussia Dortmund, returning to play in Germany for the first time since 2014.

There had been reports of Can returning to the Premier League to play for Manchester United, but he will be suiting up for the Black and Yellow for the remainder of the season.

The German international began his senior career with Bayern Munich in 2012 before departing the Bavarians for another short stint in the country, this time with Bayer Leverkusen. Can played most of his career in England for Liverpool, spending four years with the club before leaving the club to join Juventus after his contract expired.

In 185 appearances at the senior club level, the 26-year-old has scored 18 goals. However, this season has been one to forget for Can as he did not seem to fit new manager Maurizio Sarri’s plans for the team, which caused him to only make eight appearances this season.

For the German national team, Can has made 25 appearances, but has only the found the back of the net once for his country. Although Can was excluded from the squad from Germany’s squad in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, he did make an appearance in the UEFA Euro 2016, starting in a 2-0 semi-final loss to host France.

It is currently a neck-to-neck race for the top spot in the Bundesliga with leaders RB Leipzig only having a four-point differential between them and fourth place Dortmund. 

After the squad landed transfer market gold by signing young talent Erling Haaland, who has scored five goals in two appearances so far, the team is hoping the Can is able to provide solid midfield depth that can carry them to a first-place finish in the league for the first time since 2012.

Also, with the UEFA Euro 2020 right around the corner, this could be Can’s chance to reassert himself back into the squad for a major competition.

Yannick Carrasco returns to Atlético Madrid on short-term loan

After playing a big part in Atlético Madrid’s success during his three-year tenure, Yannick Carrasco is returning to the Spanish capital on a short-term loan from Dalian Professional.

Carrasco, who arrived in Madrid for his first stint in 2015 after departing Monaco, is brought in after the club failed to sign Edinson Cavani away from PSG. However, the squad are getting a player who is accustomed to playing this team’s style, so it could end up being more beneficial in the long run.

The Belgian international had scored 17 goals in 81 appearances for Atlético before his departure in 2018. However, he has not found trouble finding the back of the net with the move as he scored 24 goals in 50 Chinese Super League appearances for Dalian, who are owned by Atlético’s partial owner Dalian Wanda.

The 26-year-old’s biggest moments for the club was during the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final at the San Siro.  After coming on the pitch as a half-time replacement for Augusto Fernández, Carrasco scored a 79th-minute equalizer, making him the first Belgian to score in a European Cup final. However, they ended up losing to arch-rivals Real Madrid in a penalty shoot-out.

The creative winger also is a constant appearer for the Belgium national team. Included in the 2018 FIFA World Cup squad by manager Roberto Martínez, Carrasco helped the squad finish in third place at the most recent edition in Russia. In 41 appearances for his country, he has scored six goals.

As Atlético sit in fifth place at the moment in the La Liga standings, the fans and the team are hoping that Carrasco provides some spark to help them improve their spot. His first test will be on Saturday in The Madrid Derby.

Blades sign Zivkovic

Sheffield United have signed striker Richairo Živković from Chinese club Changchun Yatai.

The former Dutch U21s forward arrives in S2 on loan until the end of the season with an option of a permanent switch in the summer.

Živković, 23, joined FC Groningen at the age of 11 and progressed through the ranks, signing a three-year contract with the Green-White Army in 2012 and became the clubs youngest ever debutant.

In the Dutch top-flight Živković netted 10 goals in 33 appearances, prompting Ajax to swoop for his services in March 2014,  following in the footsteps of Luis Suarez who had previously transferred from Groningen to the biggest name in Dutch football.

He netted once in seven senior appearances in Amsterdam, but he impressed scoring 27 times in 40 appearances for the clubs reserves side, in addition to loan spells at Willem II and FC Utrecht.

Živković joined the Belgian Pro League signing a long-term deal with KV Oostende and then joined Changchun Yatai in February 2019, where he has scored 12 goals in 17 appearances.

Blade boss Chris Wilder spoke about signing the forward: “People will recognise we do sometimes go left field with our signings, but we’ve worked very hard on this one, because we have had to.” he said.

“We know enough about him, we’ve kept tabs on Richairo for a while and tracked his progress. He is a Dutch international at ages under the senior level, he’ll be unpredictable to other teams, but we know what we’re getting and he wants to make the most of the opportunity.

“He will give us genuine pace at the top of the pitch. We’re learning all the time this season, but pace in the Premier League is key and Richairo is someone we think can kick us on.

“Hopefully things go well enough to turn it into a permanent move in the summer – this is another signing of a young player with an eye on the future.”

Blades fans let us know your thoughts on the deal. Are you pleased with the striker? Where else do you need to strengthen?