The Champions League

Chelsea reluctant to see Hakim Ziyech join Newcastle

Newcastle United have strengthened their search for a new forward after seeing Chris Wood join Nottingham Forest on a loan deal.

Their interest in Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech has strengthened with the club keen on the Algerian, especially after his resurgent form since the World Cup.

However, according to the Evening Standard, the West Londoners are not too keen on selling to Newcastle, who they now see as Premier League rivals after their recent takeover by Saudi investors.

The Morocco international is open to leaving Stamford Bridge this month if the right offer emerges and Eddie Howe’s side are considering a deal to boost their Champions League bid.

Ziyech’s recent impressive form has seen interest in his signature increase, with relegation strugglers Everton and Serie A giants AS Roma also interested.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed a run in Graham Potter’s first team largely due to the current injury struggles the team faces across all departments.

But Ziyech has taken his chance with both hands and given the manager a real selection dilemma when the injured players are fit again.

However, the former Ajax man remains on Chelsea’s transfer list, and a move away from West London either this month or next summer is on the cards.

Roma have initiated contact with Ziyech’s representatives as they view the player as a potential replacement for Nicolo Zaniolo, who is attracting interest from North London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

However, Newcastle seem to have jumped in the front row for Ziyech, with the Magpies now seemingly not the usual free-scoring side they were earlier in the season. Howe’s side have scored just five goals in their last seven games in all competitions.

Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali reportedly have personal friendships with members of the Newcastle board, but they have delayed a decision on Ziyech’s future for now.

Despite their recent spending spree, the Blues are still in the market for two more players, including a right-back and a new midfielder, and there could yet be some movement on that front before the window closes next week.

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