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Hakim Ziyech agent 'holds talks over Chelsea exit'

Hakim Ziyech agent 'holds talks over Chelsea exit'
© Reuters
The representatives of Chelsea attacker Hakim Ziyech reportedly reach out to AC Milan to try to engineer a January transfer for the 29-year-old.

The entourage of Chelsea outcast Hakim Ziyech have reportedly held talks with AC Milan over a January transfer.

The Morocco international was widely linked with a move to the San Siro club in the summer, having fallen down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel.

However, the Serie A champions instead signed Belgium's Charles de Ketelaere from Club Brugge, as Ziyech remained at Stamford Bridge to try to reignite his Chelsea career.

The arrival of Graham Potter has not led to improved fortunes for the 29-year-old, though, and he has only made five appearances in all competitions this season.

Furthermore, Ziyech has only started one of those games, playing the full 90 in the Blues' 2-1 Premier League loss to Southampton in August, while he has come off the bench twice in the Champions League.

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech pictured on August 14, 2022© Reuters

A recent illness has not helped Ziyech, who was unable to recover in time to face Aston Villa before returning to the squad for the midweek draw with West London rivals Brentford.

The ex-Ajax man remains under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2025, but according to Football Italia - via the Daily Mail - his agents have now initiated new contacts with Milan.

The report claims that lawyer Sebastien Ledure has been in touch with the Rossoneri to try to engineer a January move, and Ziyech has been a long-term target for Stefano Pioli.

Ledure is said to have a good relationship with both Chelsea and Milan, which would benefit Ziyech's chances of sealing an exit from the London club in search of regular starts before the 2022 World Cup.

Since making the move from Ajax for £36m in the summer of 2020, Ziyech has represented Chelsea on 88 occasions, scoring 14 goals and setting up 10 more in that time, but a recent report claimed that the capital club are prepared to let the attacker leave in January.

Rafael Leao in action for AC Milan on October 8, 2022© Reuters

The former Heerenveen youngster has won the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup with the Blues and recently reversed his decision to retire from international duty, taking part in Morocco's friendlies with Chile and Paraguay last month.

While Ziyech is being tipped to head to Milan from Chelsea, current Rossoneri attacker Rafael Leao has been strongly linked with a switch in the opposite direction.

The Portugal international came up with 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 league outings to help Milan win the Scudetto last season, and he already has four goals and eight assists from 13 games in all tournaments this season.

Milan are yet to tie the in-demand attacker down to fresh terms beyond the summer of 2024, but the Italian champions are determined to agree a new contract with Leao and ward off interest from the Premier League.

As a result, Ziyech is not expected to form a part of a possible player-plus-cash deal with Milan for Leao, who is also believed to have attracted the attention of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

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