The market closed with the Premier League as the competition that spent the most on new players

Chelsea trick PSG to keep Ziyech and Saudi Arabia seduce Benzema

photo_camera AFP/JAVIER SORIANO - Real Madrid's French striker Karim Benzema fights for the ball with Chelsea's Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech

Hakim Ziyech was one of the sensations of the last World Cup. The Moroccan player returned with his national team just in time for the big football event thanks to Regragui's management of the national bench.  

The Chelsea player was close to leaving the English club last summer for Ajax, but the new ownership of the club opted for his continuity to form a great team at the height of Abramovich's times.  

The winter transfer window could be the definitive one for Ziyech and his destination was Paris. The team of Messi, Ramos and Neymar wanted to add another top-level Moroccan to their ranks alongside Achraf Hakimi.  

Everything seemed to be on track to close the deal on the evening of 31 January, but, according to Radio France, the English club began to behave erratically to force the player to stay in London.  


The paperwork was sent incorrectly on three occasions and the transfer was never completed, something that annoyed PSG, who will complain to UEFA and the federations involved to investigate the English club's behaviour.  

The numbers of this winter transfer window are historic for the Premier League and, in particular, for Chelsea, who have spent 329.5 million euros on transfers. With low profile teams spending up to 63 million euros such as Southampton, 56 million euros for Bournemouth or 49 million euros for Newcastle.  

Enzo Fernandez is the big January signing with Chelsea paying 121 million to Benfica for the Qatar 2022 sensation. Mudryk arrives from Shakhtar to the London club for 70 million plus Joao Felix on loan. Cancelo arrives on loan at Bayern from Manchester City because of his bad relationship with Guardiola. And Gakpo completed the transfer announced during the World Cup from PSV to Liverpool for 42 million euros.  


Moroccan football has also moved its stars. The young Ounahi joined Marseille for 8 million euros from Angers. Boufal also left Angers for Al-Rayyan for 6 million euros and Amallah left Standard Liege for Real Valladolid for 1 million euros.  

Another big news of the market is Saudi Arabia's bid to be the epicentre of world football in a few years. Benzema, Modric and Ramos have been chosen to join their competition in the team of their choice for 30 million euros tax free. These signings would be in addition to Cristiano Ronaldo and would be the backing to organise the 2030 World Cup for which Spain will fight for. 

More in Sports