Journalist Ben Jacobs believes Hakim Ziyech’s lofty wage demands could be a big problem for Newcastle United.
It has recently been reported that Newcastle are eyeing up three players from mid-table Chelsea this month, with Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ziyech all said to have caught Eddie Howe’s eye.
While the former two would address Newcastle’s issue in central midfield – with Bruno Guimaraes, Jonjo Shelvey and Elliot Anderson all being struck down by injury in recent times – the latter would perhaps provide something interesting.
Ziyech has never been able to nail down a regular spot at Chelsea having been handed just 32 starts in the Premier League, and with reports of Ryan Fraser potentially being sold this month, replacing him with Ziyech could be seen as a big upgrade – but it may be too big a move to pull off.
The Moroccan is a Champions League player that’s been at the top for a while now, and Jacobs has claimed on the Loaded Mag YouTube channel that his wages could cause a problem at Newcastle.
He said: “Newcastle certainly have admiration for Ziyech, but you’ve got a post-World Cup hike in the price, and the big stumbling block is wages.
“So, if Newcastle sign Ziyech, then either he has to cut his wages or Newcastle will be going against their model, which is very dangerous when you sign a player on a Champions League wage – for two reasons.
Would you like Ziyech to join Newcastle?
“First of all, if they don’t make the Champions League, you’re saddled with it; and second of all, how does the rest of the dressing room react if somebody comes in mid-season and is earning… I don’t want to say considerably more, but is one of the top earners at the club?”
TIF Thoughts on interest in Ziyech…
The Morocco international, who has been accused of ‘sulking’ since returning from the World Cup, was an influential figure in Qatar as he registered one goal and one assist on the Atlas Lions’ journey to the semi-finals, which appears to have sparked Newcastle’s interest in him as he is thought to be the most attainable target of the three linked Blues players.
Ziyech has certainly failed to live up to the hype and his £36m transfer fee that Chelsea splurged on him after he starred for Ajax in the Eredivisie and Champions League, as he has only managed to register just 13 goal involvements in the Premier League.
Now, though, that price could well have dropped further given that the Blues have a seriously bloated roster and must cut players out of it before they register their squad for the Champions League knockout stages, which could end up benefiting the Magpies.