Tottenham Hotspur had scouts specifically watching winger Hakim Ziyech during their Champions League semi-final defeat to Ajax on Tuesday, with a view to submit a £40m bid this summer.
The 26-year-old has been one of his side's standout performers in the Eredivisie this season, and has also showcased his skills on the European stage, putting in stunning performances against Real Madrid, Juventus and now Spurs.
Hakim Ziyech won six tackles against Spurs; more than any other player on the pitch at the time of his substitution.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 30, 2019
Crucial to Ajax's pressing. ♂️ pic.twitter.com/2ATDFoOeWl
His display on Tuesday will have impressed Tottenham who, according to the Daily Mail, had scouts watch Ziyech throughout the match, before deciding whether they should pursue a £40m deal this summer.
Ziyech often leads Ajax's high press, winning numerous tackles to help his side recover possession and power forward. On Tuesday night he was one of his side's primary creators and his passing vision was clearly on show as he set up Donny van de Beek's decisive goal during the first half.
Ajax are said to have informed suitors that they will entertain offers for their star players this summer, and Spurs will be hoping to use their close relationship with De Godenzonen to give them an advantage in the race for Ziyech's signature.
They have previously signed Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Davinson Sanchez from the Eredivisie side, and Spurs are also said to have come close to convincing Frenkie de Jong to reject Barcelona in favour of a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
They may face another battle this time around, with Ziyech thought to have attracted interest from some of Europe's elite sides.
This season, Ziyech has racked up a stunning 20 goals and 21 assists in 45 games, helping Ajax to the top of the Eredivisie standings as well as the semi-final of the Champions League. He has primarily operated as a right-winger, although Erik ten Hag's system gives him plenty of freedom to roam into central positions to utilise his creativity.
Prior to the current campaign, Ziyech spent most of his time as a central attacking midfielder, but he has proven that he could operate in either position, which will only attract more interest from abroad.