The agent of Ajax star Hakim Ziyech has revealed that Chelsea boss Frank Lampard managed to quickly strike up a bond with the Moroccan over the phone, which helped convince Ziyech that a switch to Stamford Bridge was the right move.
Back in February, Chelsea confirmed they had agreed a £33.4m deal to sign Ziyech this summer. He is scheduled to join the club on July 1, but when he will actually be permitted to play for his new side is a another question entirely.
Chelsea fans are already drooling with excitement over the thought of seeing their new man play, and agent Mustapha Nakhli told Voetbal International that Lampard's admission that he sees Ziyech as a leader was crucial to getting the deal over the line.
“When the interest became concrete, we first spoke to Marina Granovskaia, the director of Chelsea," he explained. "The plans they have with Hakim looked very good. Chelsea also sees a leader in Hakim, they praised his personality.
“The first conversation between Frank Lampard and Hakim took place over the phone at my office. ‘We clicked’, he said afterwards. Hakim is an emotional person, so if it feels good, it is good too.
“We rejected really big European clubs. Not just Sevilla. There were clubs in November that wanted to take over Hakim during the winter break. I’ve never flown so much. But in the end, we didn’t feel good about it.”
Nakhli also revealed that Chelsea first made contact over Ziyech three years ago and they were blowing his phone up in January to try and strike a deal, but Ajax were adamant that the Moroccan would be staying until the end of the season.
“Chelsea also wanted to take over in January, but Ajax did not want to participate," Nakhli added. "We respected that and Hakim wanted to finish well in Amsterdam and say goodbye with dignity. It was a great year for him at Ajax.
"Hakim wants to be the best, that is his aim. He was in the Netherlands and now succeeding at Chelsea in England is the next goal. Hakim is absolutely ready as a person and player."