Chelsea boss Frank Lampard clearly has high hopes for Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech at Stamford Bridge.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Lampard rejected the opportunity to sign Christian Eriksen in the summer transfer window because of his belief in Ziyech.
“We told you about the situation of [Marcelo] Brozovic, we talked about the situation of Marcos Alonso, Emerson Palmieri, Victor Moses,” Romano said on the Here We Go podcast.
“Inter and Chelsea were talking many times this summer to find some way to do some deals together. They didn’t, because they didn’t do anything this summer.
“But they were talking about many players and at one point when Inter were interested in [N’Golo] Kante but it was really impossible and was nothing advanced, they were talking also about the situation of Christian Eriksen, offering Eriksen to Chelsea.
“Chelsea said no but the decision was more from Lampard than from the board because Lampard said, ‘No, in this moment we have this kind of player with Ziyech, we’ve signed him, I’m convinced in this moment that Ziyech is fantastic and perfect for our football more than Eriksen.’
“So he was not interested in signing another player with top quality as Eriksen because he said, ‘Our future, our present is Hakim Ziyech.’ That’s why Chelsea said no to Christian Eriksen.
“With Bayern Munich and other clubs that asked for him, Inter don’t want to give him for free or on loan. They want no less than €35m or €40m, they paid €20m one year ago but he was just with six months left of his contract.
“We have to see what will happen with Eriksen this season. He wants to play. He doesn’t want to stay on the bench match by match.
“But it’s also up to himself because he started the first match this season with Inter against Fiorentina and it was not the real Christian Eriksen. It’s up to him too.”