Manchester United‘s board reportedly vetoed Erik ten Hag‘s plans to recruit Chelsea playmaker Hakim Ziyech this summer.
Ten Hag worked with the 29-year-old between 2017 and 2020 during his time with Ajax, winning an Eredivisie title together as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals, and the Dutchman was keen to reunite with the Moroccan at Old Trafford.
Ziyech was the subject of much speculation during the last few months of the window, with Tottenham Hotspur one club who allegedly expressed their interest in the playmaker on deadline day.
AC Milan and former club Ajax were also credited with an interest in Ziyech, but he will now remain at Stamford Bridge.
According to the Manchester Evening News, United were willing to back Ten Hag in the summer transfer market, but the club’s hierarchy prevented him from signing Ziyech.
The report adds that the Red Devils board vetoed an approach for the playmaker as they only regarded him as a back-up option.
Ten Hag instead enjoyed a ‘near-fully supportive first window’ in charge, with United spending in excess of £200m on six new signings.
Ziyech moved from Ajax to Chelsea in the summer of 2020 and he has since made 85 appearances across all competitions, scoring 14 goals and providing 10 assists.
The former Heerenveen youngster contributed with eight goals and six assists in 44 games for the Blues last season, but he only started on 27 occasions under Thomas Tuchel.
Ziyech has since featured twice for Chelsea in the Premier League this term, although he has ended up on the losing side on both occasions, with the West Londoners losing 3-0 to Leeds United and 2-1 away at Southampton.
Although Ten Hag was unable to lure Ziyech to Old Trafford, he has been able to recruit two familiar faces from Ajax this summer in the form of Lisandro Martinez and Antony.
Martinez arrived at Old Trafford at the end of July for a fee in the region of £50m, while an £85m deal for Antony was competed on deadline day.
Martin Dubravka was another name to arrive in the final few hours of the summer window, with the 33-year-old goalkeeper arriving from Newcastle United on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy.
Casemiro ended his nine-year association with Spanish giants Real Madrid to move to Old Trafford for around £70m, while Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen were United’s first two signings of the summer, the former joining from Feyenoord for £13.5m while the latter signed on a free transfer.