Chelsea are set to be frustrated in their attempts to make more room on the wage bill after Hakim Ziyech reportedly rejected a move to Saudi Arabia. The Moroccan star has supposedly turned down an offer from Al-Nassr to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mauricio Pochettino is completing a mini overhaul of his squad this summer after inheriting an underperforming side. Chelsea finished 12th in the Premier League last term, scoring just 38 times.
The Blues are expected to add firepower to their ranks but may need to sell before they can buy. Nearly £700million has been spent since the Todd Boehly-led consortium bought the west Londoners in May 2022.
However, raising those funds appears to be a challenging process for Chelsea, who have seen Ziyech reject a departure. The winger has reportedly turned down a revised offer from Saudi outfit Al-Nassr.
According to CBS Sports, Al-Nassr changed their offer for Ziyech after a knee issue was raised during his medical. The 30-year-old has supposedly refused to accept the changes and has scrapped the move altogether.
Reports suggest that Ziyech – signed by Frank Lampard for £37m in 2020 – earns around £100,000 at Stamford Bridge. The Evening Standard add that Chelsea will subsequently miss out on £8m, the fee Al-Nassr had agreed with the Premier League club.
The Blues will therefore lose out on what would have been welcomed funds from the transfer fee and Ziyech’s salary. However, the Standard also suggest that Al-Ahli could offer the former Ajax playmaker a reprieve as they will supposedly turn their attention to him if they fail to land Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City.
Chelsea boss Pochettino has already welcomed Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku to the squad this summer and is widely reported to be keen on another attacker. However, the Argentine has urged the club’s big-money signings of the past year to step up.
“Now is a new start. They need to show their real quality. But we need to create a platform for them to feel comfortable and to create the space for them to perform and improve,” he said.
“These players were arriving in difficult circumstances and it’s a great challenge for us, because we love to work in this way. We need to give them the opportunity to show they are able to cope with pressure to play for Chelsea.
“It’s not only the responsibility of [the coach] to always feel [the mood] with everyone. The player has responsibility to try to adapt and have his own motivation and try to work really hard and let us to manage to try to achieve the very best.”