Everton are ready to take on Eredivisie giants Ajax and PSV Eindhoven in the race for Hakim Ziyech, according to the Mirror.
The report states, Toffees head coach Roberto Martinez ordered his scouting staff to watch the 21-year-old Heerenveen midfielder several times throughout the closing weeks of the 2013-14 season and he is now interested in securing his signature on a permanent basis.
Ziyech is the latest talent to emerge in the Dutch Eredivisie, and after a number of impressive performances last term, he is in high demand. Having starred for the Netherland’s under-21 side, he missed out on selection for the Louis Van Gaal’s senior World Cup squad by the slimmest of margins.
The youngster can play in all attacking roles across the midfield, which is where the Toffees head coach is looking to strengthen his current squad.
He featured most regularly in central midfield last season, but he is capable in a more advanced role, or on either wing.
Ziyech could prove the perfect replacement for Barcelona loan-star Gerard Deulofeu, who will not be returning to Goodison Park next season.
He scored 11 goals and bagged nine assists in 31 games for his team last season, across all competitions. These performances have seen him regarded as one of the most dangerous and creative midfielder’s in the Dutch top flight.
Ziyech can use both feet, has the ability to take on a player and boasts fantastic vision, too. He is the type of player who would slot in to Roberto Martinez’s system with ease.
Whilst Ziyech has fantastic of potential, his attitude could provide a substantial hurdle to his development. If he can correct his mentality, however, he has the ability to reach the top of his game.
Ziyech has just one year left on his contract at Heerenveen and for this reason be available for a cut-price fee.
Everton are expected to make a formal offer of around £2.5million to head off interest from Holland's two most powerful clubs, but Martinez will have to move swiftly to pull off a deal ahead of PSV and Ajax, who have also expressed an interest in the 21-year-old’s services.
Would he be a worthwhile signing?
Any player of a young age who attracts the interest of Roberto Martinez is bound to be worth a gamble. Ziyech is tipped to be one of Netherland’s next top footballers and for just £2.5million I’m sure he would be a welcome addition to the Toffees current squad.