A 2017 interview in which Ajax forward Hakim Ziyech discussed his desire to play for Arsenal has resurfaced, increasing speculation over a move to the Emirates Stadium.
The Moroccan international confirmed this week that he would be leaving de Godenzonen in the summer after three superb seasons following an €11m move from Eredivisie rivals Twente, with the Gunners amongst a host of top clubs competing for his signature. It is no surprise to see such high levels of interest in the 26-year-old, who racked up a marvellous tally of 21 goals and 24 assists in all competitions this term.
Ziyech has been hugely influential in this trailblazing Ajax team, Erik ten Hag's thrilling outfit advancing to the Champions League semi-finals having stunned both Real Madrid and Juventus in the earlier rounds.
The winger's performances have seen him linked with a transfer to several elite European sides, though the Mirror report that Unai Emery's men may have an edge in the race for his signature. Speaking to Ajax TV two years ago, Ziyech said: "Well, I have two clubs. They are Arsenal and Barcelona.
"It is my ultimate dream [to play for them]," he revealed. The playmaker then identified which of the north Londoners' squad members he models himself on, stating: "Yes, I actually do have one. [Mesut] Ozil. I’m not even close to Ozil’s level."
The brief discussion suggests the Gunners could beat the likes of Bayern Munich and Liverpool to the signing of Ziyech, who is available for a bargain £25m.
The mercurial Moroccan is likely to be one of a number of talented individuals leaving Ajax in the wake of a wonderfully successful campaign in which they claimed a domestic double.
Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek and David Neres are all expected to follow Frenkie de Jong through the Johan Cruijff ArenA exit door, with the latter's move to Barça now set in stone.