Hakim Ziyech

Chelsea are trying to offload Hakim Ziyech to AC Milan, but they will need to help the Italian champions fund the Moroccan’s wages if any transfer is to go through.

Chelsea have an embarrassment of attacking riches in wide areas, with Raheem Sterling adding to a pool that already includes Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi – all of whom can do a job on the wing.

Ziyech is a primary target for Milan, the 29-year-old seen as a key piece of the jigsaw as they look to make it back-to-back Serie A titles for the first time since 1994, but any loan deal for the former Ajax man would have to be subsidised.

Ziyech earns more than €6 million per season at Stamford Bridge, which would make him Milan’s highest-paid player. According to Italian sports daily Tuttosport, the Rossoneri’s salary ceiling would €4.5m per year – with Chelsea needing to stump up the rest.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the highest-paid player at the San Siro with a salary in excess of Ziyech’s existing deal, but the 40-year-old is set to sign a one-year extension on reduced terms having played out the 2021/22 campaign with a cruciate ligament missing.

If Chelsea were to continue to pay Ziyech €1.5m annually, it would be more than the pay Trevoh Chalobah and Connor Gallagher put together – two promising talents hopeful of securing regular first-team minutes next season.

How good is Ziyech?

Ziyech was restricted to just 14 Premier League starts last term, with a further nine from the bench. His attacking returns remained healthy, however, with his four goals and three assists coming in at a rate of one every 188 minutes he played.

He was in the 97th percentile for shots league-wide, despite starting on the right flank more often than not, and with a bit more luck and confidence, Milan could have a fine attacking asset on their hands.

That might not stop them from also attempting to sign Charles De Ketelaere, with reports in the Italian press suggesting that the Belgium winger would be an ideal fit for Stefano Pioli’s 4-2-3-1 system.

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