It is already shaping up to be an intriguing transfer window for Chelsea this summer with a number of current stars potentially heading for the exit door, while a sprinkling of new faces may well be entering the building ahead of next season.
Despite largely needing to prioritise defensive reinforcements – amid uncertainty over the futures of Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen – at the top end of the pitch there is also cause for concern, with the likes of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku seemingly angling for moves.
One man who has been tipped to fill any potential attacking void is Juventus playmaker Paulo Dybala, with the Argentine heavily rumoured to be on the radar of those at Stamford Bridge.
What’s the word?
As per 90min, the Blues are set to ‘join the pursuit’ of the 28-year-old in the coming months, with a race for the forward’s signature having intensified after a recent announcement from Juve CEO Maurizio Arrivabene, who revealed that the player won’t be signing a new deal with the Serie A side.
That news has seemingly put a number of clubs on alert with just a matter of months left on the former Palermo man’s contract, with negotiations over a potential extension to stay in Turin having broken down after the player rejected the Italian side’s offer.
While that has left the Premier League outfit with the chance to snap him up for free, they will have to wait until their current sanctions are lifted before they can properly ‘throw their hat in the ring’, as per the report.
Negative Impact on Ziyech
Such speculation will no doubt spark excitement among club supporters, although the possible arrival of the £36m-rated star – who was dubbed an “absolute phenomenon” by former teammate Pol Lirola back in 2017 – will perhaps have an adverse effect on a current Blues man.
In Hakim Ziyech, Thomas Tuchel already has a creative, playmaking presence who has the ability to cut in onto his lethal left foot from the right flank, with Dybala likely to have to take up a similar role in the German’s set-up should he be plucked this summer.
While the one-time Instituto man may also have the capabilities to play in a false nine role, his goal return in recent seasons has been distinctly underwhelming for a player of his talents, having only once surpassed ten league goals for the Italian outfit over the last four seasons.
Prior to that, the 32-cap international had been somewhat prolific at the Allianz Stadium, notably netting 22 Serie A goals during the 2017/18 season, although recent years have seen the 5 foot 10 star too often underwhelmed, with former Bianconeri boss Andrea Pirlo critical of the player during his time in charge.
Dubbed a “cry baby” by West Ham legend Di Canio, but labelled “breathtaking” by former teammate Aaron Ramsey, the picture is becoming clearer of a player who has perhaps not enjoyed enough consistency to deliver on his early promise, while doubts remain over his desire to test himself in English football.
In Ziyech, however, Tuchel and co already have a mesmerising talent who is beginning to find his feet in the Premier League, the former Moroccan international having scored eight goals and assisted five in all competitions so far this season, as per Transfermarkt.
While those figures may pale in comparison to his time at Ajax – in which he scored 49 goals and registered 81 assists in 165 appearances across all competitions – the 29-year-old’s quality has been obvious for all to see during his time in England, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville comparing him to Manchester City winger, Riyad Mahrez, following his goal in January’s clash between the two sides.
Although such moments of quality have been far too infrequent for the Blues ace, it would seem harsh to resign him to the scrap heap so swiftly, with £222k-per-week man Dybala’s arrival only like to hinder his progress even further.