• Transfers: Ziyech facing dilemma as he ponders future

    (KweséESPN) Ajax Amsterdam's Morocco international Hakim Ziyech faces something of a dilemma heading into Wednesday's UEFA Champions League tie against Austria's Sturm Graz as he continues to hope for a move away from the Dutch giants.

    Ziyech, who played in all three of his country's matches at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, made it clear at the end of last season that he wanted to leave Ajax despite being named their player of the season in a supporters' poll.

    But without a firm offer yet, and the end of the transfer window fast approaching, Ziyech might have no option but to stay and help Ajax as they seek to get through the preliminary round of the Champions League and into the group phase while also searching for their first Dutch league (Eredivisie) title since 2014.

    If he plays in the midweek Champions League encounter, he will be cup-tied and it will make a possible transfer more difficult.

    But if he does not play and Ajax crash out early, as they did last season to French club Nice at the same stage of the competition, and then he does remain, it will be without the prospect of Champions League football.

    The 25-year-old is available for Wednesday's game but without any match practice since returning from the World Cup in Russia.

    "It could be that Ziyech stays," said coach Erik ten Hag in the build-up to the second preliminary round, first leg match at the newly renamed Johan Cruyff Arena.

    "He has a wish to go and an agreement was made between him and the club about this two years ago already.

    "There have been discussions with other clubs, but at the moment there is nothing concrete.

    "He is extremely motivated to start the season with us and would find it a pleasure to be able to contribute," the coach claimed.

    Ziyech did take part in the six-day training camp at Burton-on-Trent in England but, because of a small niggle, did not play in friendlies against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Walsall.

    In the two years since signing from Utrecht he has had a fractious relationship with the fans, who have often jeered him for a perceived indifference in performance but also acknowledged his contribution by naming him their best player.

    When Ajax were beaten 3-0 by PSV Eindhoven, who went on to secure the league title, towards the end of last season, Ajax's team bus was stopped by angry fans who confronted the players with Ziyech allegedly struck.

    In the next match, despite Ajax beating VVV Venlo 4-1. Ziyech came in for mass abuse from his own supporters. "I couldn't watch it, I felt so bad for the youngster," Ruud Gullit said after the game to Dutch TV.

    "No one purposely sets out to play badly and Ziyech is a great footballer, the best at the club."

    Ajax have been preparing for a future without Ziyech and already signed Dusan Tadic as his successor.

    But Ziyech's options are running out. Ajax previously turned down an offer from Roma, who spent 17.5-million euros on Justin Kluivert, and other alleged interest from Everton and Liverpool has not turned into anything concrete.

  • NT: Morocco to Play Friendly Game against Tunisia

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – The Atlas Lions will be back soon. The Moroccan national football team is set to face Tunisia for a friendly game on November 20 in Tunis.

    The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) confirmed the news on Sunday. “This meeting will serve as preparation for the men of Hervé Renard.”

    The match will be the first friendly game for Morocco’s Atlas Lions after their praised participation in the 2018 World Cup.

    The last few months of 2018 will be eventful as Morocco will play several qualification games for the Africa Cup of Nations.

    The first game will be against Malawi on September 7. Morocco will play against Comoros on October 10 and 13. Morocco will then play against Cameroon on November 16 and a second game against Malawi on March 22, 2019.

    Morocco’s participation in the 2018 World Cup received international applause despite their loss in two games against Iran and Portugal.

    Morocco made a draw in its last World Cup game against Spain.

  • Official: Supercopa in Morocco

    By Football Espana

    The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has confirmed that the Supercpoa between Sevilla and Barcelona will be played in Morocco on August 12.

    A statement on the RFEF’s website explained the match would be held at the Stade Ibn Battouta in Tangier at 21:00 BST.

    It marks the first official game of the 2018-19 football season in Spain and will be contested between last term’s double winners Barca and Sevilla, who were runners-up to the Catalans in the Copa del Rey.

    Unlike previous years, the Supercopa will be a single fixture as opposed to a two-legged tie.

  • Transfers: Sofiane Boufal to spend season with LaLiga side Celta Vigo

    (AP) Southampton winger Sofiane Boufal has joined Celta Vigo on a season-long loan, the Premier League club announced on Friday evening.

    The 24-year-old Moroccan joined the Saints from Lille in August 2016, making 59 appearances and scoring four goals.

    However, Boufal does not feature in the plans of manager Mark Hughes for the new campaign having fallen out of favour towards the end of the last campaign.

    A statement on the Southampton website said: “We wish Sofiane good luck for the season ahead.”

  • Official: Sassuolo sign Bourabia

    By Football Italia

    Sassuolo have officially signed Moroccan midfielder Mehdi Bourabia from Konyaspor.

    The deal was confirmed in a statement on Sassuolo’s official website, with Bourabia penning a three-year contract, which includes the option for a fourth.

    Gianluca Di Marzio’s website and Transfermarkt report the Neroverdi have paid €2.25m for the 26-year-old, who was born in France.

  • Transfers: Turkish side Ankaragucu signs Moestafa El Kabir & Younes Mokthtar!

  • Transfers: Munir El Kajoui joins Malaga C.F from C.D Numancia

    (Kingfut.com) Morocco international goalkeeper Munir El Kajoui joined Spanish side Malaga C.F from Numancia.

    El Kajoui joins the Andalusian side after they got relegated from La Liga last season after helping Numancia finish sixth in the Spanish second division.

    The 29-year-old played a total of just six games across all competitions with Numancia and conceded 10 goals.

    El Kajoui has a lot of experience in the Spanish second division having played in several teams such as UD Melilla and CD Numancia.

    He also had 31 caps with the Morocco national team and managed to play all three group stage games against Iran, Spain and Portugal.

  • ‘I Will not Leave for Another African Nation’: Renard Comments on Rumors

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – After being linked many times to Algeria, Egypt, and lately Cameroon, the coach of Morocco’s national football team has had to defend himself again, slamming those who pretend to speak for him.

    “Some people talk about my future in the media to sow trouble in the Moroccan spirit and if it’s still a little too early to know what will be done, one thing is certain: Out of respect for Morocco and all Moroccans I will not leave in any way for another African nation regardless of it. Those who claim so are wrong,” wrote the French coach on social media.

    The 49-year-old has already said he is committed to the kingdom. Last week, on his flight back home from Russia to Morocco, the Atlas Lions’ coach agreed to answer 2M’s questions about his future, saying that he has a contract with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) until 2022.

    But while Renard is keen to disparage the rumors and “fake news” surrounding his future commitment with the Moroccan national squad, he has not said anything conclusive about whether he will stay.

    The Frenchman’s statements on social media have left many people skeptical about his desire to retain the coaching position with the Atlas Lions, prompting many to ask what he really thinks.

  • Transfers: Nordin Amrabat to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr done deal

    Moroccan international winger Nordin Amrabat has signed a three year contract for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr following his virtuoso displays at the World Cup.

    Despite getting knocked out of the first round, Amrabat showed a lot of grit and determination in his three games for the Lions of the Atlas.

    The deal is believed to be worth around five million dollars for the wide man’s club and 10 million for Amrabat himself to be paid throughout his three years at the Saudi team.

    Last season, the 31-year-old was loaned to Spanish outfit Leganes from his home club Watford and he managed to help them survive another season in La Liga with his two goals and four assists.

    The player represented the English team for one year and a half, coming from Spanish side Malaga and has previously played UEFA Champions League football with Turkish giants Galatasaray.


  • Transfers: Lyon turn to Ziyech as Fekir's replacement

    (Goal.com) With Nabil Fekir set for new Liverpool talks after the 2018 Fifa World Cup, Lyon have opened negotiations with Ajax for Hakim Ziyech's permanent switch, Mirror reports.

    The Ligue 1 club are ready to beat Roma and Liverpool to the signing of the 25-year-old who is yet to confirm a new home after disclosing his intention of leaving Holland.


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