Tuesday, June 25, 2024

PSG transfer deadline day: Hakim Ziyech loan from Chelsea thwarted by red tape

Paris Saint-Germain had agreed to sign Hakim Ziyech on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season, but the move failed due to registration issues. The Morocco international was due to arrive at Parc des Princes on a paid deal until this summer having passed his medical in the French capital earlier on Tuesday, but administrative issues put paid to those hopes.

Ziyech, 29, has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge while PSG’s need for greater creativity has risen since the FIFA 2022 World Cup. Neymar, Carlos Soler, and Renato Sanches have all struggled for consistent form of late while Ziyech impressed with Morocco in Qatar only to return to limited minutes under Graham Potter.

The former AFC Ajax man was expected to have a squad role under Christophe Galtier, and with Neymar suffering from muscular fatigue, he could have debuted as early as this Saturday at home to Toulouse FC in Ligue 1. However, communication issues involving Chelsea, PSG, the Premier League and the French Professional Football League (LFP) offices means that this one did not get done. 

Although Ziyech would not have solved PSG’s defensive needs, which could have been aided by bringing forward Milan Skriniar’s arrival from Inter Milan, but he could have brought added invention to a team lacking inspiration at present. Les Parisiens have won just once in their last four matches and Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Neymar are struggling to rediscover their pre-World Cup form. 

Ziyech would have been tasked with injecting some magic into the PSG front line and helping the star trio to get back to their best while earning more minutes than he was in London. Options such as Zenit Saint Petersburg’s Malcom were initially explored before Luis Campos opted to pursue the versatile Ziyech at the same time as Skriniar. 

Keylor Navas did join Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the season without an option to buy. The Costa Rica international was desperate for a move away from Parc des Princes to be a starter once more and he will get that initially at the City Ground. Now 36 and firmly behind Gianluigi Donnarumma in a scenario which mirrored his fall from grace at Real Madrid owing to Thibaut Courtois, Navas has the rest of the campaign to impress.

PSG enabled that switch with Athletic Club making the signing of Ander Herrera permanent to keep within the loan number limits. There was also movement in PSG’s youth ranks with Ayman Kari joining FC Lorient on loan, but Ismael Gharbi agreed a similar deal with OGC Nice only to be thwarted by the LFP registration process which was hit by a deadline day bug.

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