Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech releases statement which could affect Blues future

Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures

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Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech has announced that he will ‘take full control’ of his professional career as he looks to resolve his current situation at Stamford Bridge ahead of next season. Ziyech has been linked with a move away from Chelsea over the last few weeks, with Thomas Tuchel said to be happy to allow the 29-year-old to leave the club in the not-too-distant future.

AC Milan are believed to be keen on landing Ziyech before the start of the new campaign, with preliminary talks already said to be underway behind closed doors. The player himself ramped up speculation over his next destination on Friday by outlining his desire to take the lead in negotiations and hinting that he is seeking to leave Chelsea as a matter of priority this summer.

“I have reached a point in my life where I feel the time is right for me to take full control over my professional future,” said Ziyech in a statement posted to Instagram.

“I want negotiations and decisions about my career to be made by me. So moving forward, my team and I, together with our legal representatives, will handle the business side of things.

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“Professional interest should be directed to the contact info in my bio. I remain incredibly grateful for your continued support.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Ziyech will eventually be able to join AC Milan, who are looking to strengthen at the top of the pitch in advance of their upcoming Serie A title defence. His days at Chelsea certainly appear to be numbered, with the Blues reportedly eyeing the capture of at least one additional winger between now and the end of the transfer window.

The west Londoners are currently thought to be closing in on the signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, while Raphinha of Leeds United has also been targeted by the two-time European champions this summer. A successful move for either player would undoubtedly see Ziyech tumble even further down the pecking order at Chelsea, where he made just 23 appearances in the Premier League over the course of last season.

Ziyech has already been tipped to shine if he moves away from Stamford Bridge by former Premier League striker Noel Whelan, who believes that Sterling’s arrival would spell the end for the Moroccan ace under Tuchel’s management.

“He’s been a bit-part player, but he’s definitely got talent,” Whelan told Football Insider when quizzed on Ziyech’s future at Chelsea.

“He’s an exciting player and someone who can make things happen, but he just hasn’t been regular enough at Chelsea. He hasn’t pushed other players out of the way to really make that spot his own.

“I think it makes sense to let him go. Tuchel has been around long enough now to know who he wants and who is effective. You look at Sterling and probably think that he will be the main man in Ziyech’s position.”

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