Hakim Ziyech of Ajax during the UEFA Champions League third round qualifying first leg match between Ajax Amsterdam and OGC Nice at the Amsterdam Arena on August 02, 2017 (VI Images/PA Images)

Liverpool touted with bargain move for Hakim Ziyech as Ajax concede he will join “top club”

Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has conceded that Hakim Ziyech will join a “top club” this summer, with Liverpool among the clubs touted with a move.

The Reds are yet to finish their campaign, with the Champions League final to come on June 1, and therefore there are unlikely to be any concrete developments regarding transfers until after Madrid.

But with three weeks between the final day of the Premier League and the meeting with Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano, that won’t stop the rumour mill.

And on Friday, Overmars’ comments on 26-year-old attacking midfielder Ziyech prompted speculation over whether he could make a bargain switch to Anfield in the summer.

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

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

That may be out of Ajax’s hands if rumours of a £25 million release clause in Ziyech’s contract are true, with any club able to speak to the Moroccan after matching that price tag.

AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Hakim Ziyech scores (Image via www.imago-images.de/Imago/PA Images)

The Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle opted to expand on Overmars’ words and suggest Liverpool “will be among a number of clubs keeping a watching brief” as a result.

While there is nothing newsworthy in this claim, it is certainly feasible that the Reds would be interested in Ziyech—particularly having been linked in the past.

He was among those suggested as an alternative to Nabil Fekir as Jurgen Klopp sought to replace Philippe Coutinho last summer, and with no revival of interest in the Lyon captain on the cards, Ajax’s No. 22 could emerge again.

Ziyech scored 21 goals and laid on a further 24 assists in 49 games for the Eredivisie champions this season, including an excellent strike against Spurs in the Champions League semi-finals.

The longest he went without a direct goal involvement between appearances in the Dutch top flight was one game, either scoring or assisting in 23 outings.

According to WhoScored, he also won possession in the final third more times than any other player in the Eredivisie (52), significantly ahead of Dusan Tadic (38) and Frenkie de Jong (29) in second and third.

One downside of signing Ziyech would be his expected place in the Morocco squad at the Africa Cup of Nations, which would delay his transition into Klopp’s squad.

But like Julian Brandt, who himself is available for a release clause of just £21.6 million, he would certainly be a shrewd, cost-effective addition.