Hakim Ziyech’s future at Chelsea is yet to be resolved as he looks destined to depart Stamford Bridge this summer.
The 30-year-old was on the verge of joining Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr to join Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia, but following his medical terms were revised and a deal was unable to be agreed.
Ziyech has since returned to Chelsea‘s Cobham training ground while Mauricio Pochettino‘s side are out in the United States for their pre-season, which has seen them win three of their four games so far in America.
Pochettino has made his plan for the Chelsea squad clear following the signings of Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson, with the Blues set to complete the signing of AS Monaco defender Axel Disasi for €45 million this week.
“First of all we need to define the squad,” admitted Pochettino. “We are 29, 30 players here and it’s massive. At the moment the dynamic is really good. They are very good guys sharing a good time together. But it’s difficult because in every game maybe three, four, five players cannot play, and that makes the mood difficult.
“It’s about creating a squad with a good balance with people who have the opportunity to play and compete for a place. That is a challenge for us in the transfer window to build a good balance, and then if players are not happy because they believe they are not going to play, we will find a solution to fix the situation.
“What we cannot do is have a massive squad with players in America not involved, because it’s going to create a mess. Maybe less is more and more is less.
“That is why I need to make clear we don’t need a bigger squad. We need 22, 23, 24 players and that’s it. I’m so sorry because maybe the decisions will be tough, but we need to build a good, balanced team if we want to compete for big things.”
With Chelsea set to return to England at the end of the week once they’ve played their final pre-season fixture against Borussia Dortmund, Ziyech, should a deal not have been agreed, will reunite with the rest of the group.
He has been at their training facility and was joined by injured Wesley Fofana, who is recovering from anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. Ziyech took to Instagram to share a post with the France international.