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What Hakim Ziyech has said about Arsenal as Chelsea make move ahead of summer transfer window

Chelsea closing in on a big name summer signing in Hakim Ziyech, according to reports.

The Blues had a quiet January transfer window with no signings added to their first team squad, despite several players being strongly linked with a move to west London.

One player who was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge was Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech, with the Morocco international attracting attention from several clubs across Europe after standing out for the Dutch champions in their excellent run to the Champions League semi-final last season.

He also impressed against Chelsea in the Champions League earlier this season, and the latest reports from Holland suggest that the 26-year-old will make the move to the Blues at the end of the season.

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However, Ziyech’s previous comments suggest that he may have preferred a move to another club in England, having been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham in the past.

In an old video on Twitter, Ziyech took part in a Q&A with former Ajax teammate Justin Kluivert, now at Italian side Roma, where he revealed that it was his ‘dream’ to play for Arsenal.

Asked which club he’d like to play for in the future, he responded: “Well, I have two clubs. They are Arsenal and Barcelona. That is my ultimate dream.”

In the same sequence of questions, Ziyech was also asked who his football idol is and revealed it is none other than Arsenal’s very own Mesut Ozil.

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Last season, Ziyech’s performances on the European stage were matched by his domestic achievements as he helped Ajax win the Eredivisie title and the KNVB cup.

The midfielder also claimed the club’s Player of the Year award, after netting 21 goals and 24 assists in 49 games.

Speaking last summer, Ajax director of football Marc Overmars confirmed the club would eventually allow him to leave.

“He leaves when a top club comes. He is in focus because of his achievements in the Champions League,” the former Arsenal winger said.

“Many big clubs are buzzing around him. We promised Hakim [that we would] agree to a good transfer.”