Chelsea’s 2023 January transfer window has taken multiple twists and turns, each more sensational than the last.
On Deadline Day, the Blues secured a monstrous move for Argentinian star Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for a massive €120 million fee, smashing the British transfer record.
Space needed to be made in the roster, and a corresponding move was secured as Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech agreed to a deal with French side PSG, who are in desperate need of attacking depth behind star forwards Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Neymar.
However, the move has reportedly fallen apart in incredible fashion, leaving all parties furious with the end result.
MORE: Updated tracker for all Deadline Day moves & news to close the 2023 January transfer window
Hakim Ziyech transfer to PSG fails after error in paperwork
It seemed for all the world that Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech would complete a move to PSG on January transfer window Deadline Day, as Fabrizio Romano and others reported that a deal had been completed. All hurdles regarding wages had been cleared, and the deal would be a straight six-month loan through the end of the season with no option to buy, according to Romano’s report and many others.
However, shocking news came down after the transfer window in France closed. The window in France closes an hour earlier than that in England, as they reach midnight earlier thanks to the time difference. According to reports by multiple journalists, an error in paperwork caused Hakim Ziyech’s PSG transfer to fail at the last possible moment.
The first sign of trouble came from French journalist Bruno Salomon, who reported that Chelsea attempted to send the documentation three separate times and each attempt was erroneous. Then, Ben Jacobs of CBS Sports reported that PSG were furious with the turn of events, and Ziyech himself was stuck in Paris with no move officially sealed.
Jacobs reports that PSG will file an appeal tomorrow with the French league to have the deadline extended, but are not hopeful of success in that regard.
Why was Hakim Ziyech leaving Chelsea?
Having joined Chelsea from Dutch side Ajax in the summer of 2020, Hakim Ziyech has slowly seen his time decrease at Stamford Bridge.
A squad bursting with attacking talent has seen the forward line shuffled on countless occasions, with injuries and poor form causing total chaos in the Chelsea squad. New players are seemingly shuttled in and out of the lineup at will as others are injured or struggle to perform.
This season, Ziyech has been at the back of the line, making just 10 Premier League appearances this campaign. He had started just a single match prior to the World Cup break, and has only seen time recently as the Blues suffer through an unprecedented injury crisis.
As his teammates inevitably get healthy over the course of the next month, it seems likely that Ziyech would drop back to the bench despite a positive showing at the 2022 World Cup with Morocco, reaching the semifinals.
A move to PSG would provide some relief, as while Ziyech likely wouldn’t see the field in ideal circumstances behind all-world attacking trio Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar, there would almost surely be minutes available. PSG boss Christophe Galtier would surely wish to rotate those star players at all available opportunities, with Messi at an advanced age of 35 years old, Neymar boasting a laundry list of injuries over the past few years, and Mbappe being leaned on endlessly to carry the load in the absence of his fellow attackers.