Arsenal and Liverpool linked Ajax star Hakim Ziyech has confirmed he rejected the chance to join Sevilla, citing a desire to remain with the Dutch champions until he can find a “perfect picture” elsewhere.
The 26-year-old Morocco international enjoyed his best campaign to date with Ajax last season, scoring 16 goals and adding 13 assists as he helped the club reclaim the Eredivisie crown.
A further three goals and three assists in the Champions League saw Ziyech help his team on a surprise run that brought them to the brink of the final, though a last-minute Lucas Moura goal in the semi-final second leg spoiled that party.
The success Ajax enjoyed this season saw top clubs in Europe come calling for their big stars, with Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt both having already accepted moves elsewhere, to Barcelona and Juventus respectively.
Ziyech’s name has been linked with big clubs as well, as Arsenal and Liverpool have been among the Premier League clubs suggested as possible destinations.
And Ziyech has now confirmed that one team did make an offer – La Liga club Sevilla – but he was not interested in joining a squad that he considers on the same level as Ajax.
“I feel at home here and get to play a lot,” Ziyech told Fox Sports following Ajax’s 2-0 win over PSV in the Dutch Super Cup. “I think Sevilla are at the same level as Ajax and I won't leave Ajax for no improvement.”
Ziyech hailed what he currently has at Ajax and says he would not give that up easily, though he concedes he would make the move if “the perfect picture” came along.
“The right club hasn't made an offer yet, so for now I just stick with Ajax and do my very best on the field,” he continued.
“I think everybody gets along really well. It’s a great team. We have fun and you shouldn’t give that up for nothing. You shouldn’t leave because of leaving; it has to be something you fully approve.
“Like I always said: it has to be the perfect picture. Everything needs to be right. I won’t leave Ajax until I have that feeling.”
Ziyech featured for 31 minutes off the bench in the victory over PSV, having returned following featuring in four games for Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Kasper Dolberg and former Manchester United defender Daley Blind scored for Ajax in the win.