Morocco coach Walid Regragui gave Milan advice on signing Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea after his great World Cup performance. ‘When you give him love and confidence, he will die for you.’
The 29-year-old was named FIFA Man of the Match after today’s surprise 2-0 victory over Belgium put them on the verge of reaching the Round of 16.
He had already been heavily linked with a potential Milan move over the summer and they are expected to try again in January, proposing a loan deal with option to buy at the end of the season.
There were some concerns over Ziyech’s reputation for causing problems with various coaches throughout his career, but Regragui reassured them.
“He’s incredible. A lot of people talk about him as a difficult guy to manage but what I see is that, when you give him love and confidence, he will die for you. It is what I give him and he returns my confidence.”
Ziyech had retired from international duty with Morocco due to rows with previous coach Valid Halihodzic, which saw him frozen out of the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2022.
That rapport was one of the reasons Halihodzic was sacked in August and replaced by Regraui.
Milan’s long-running pursuit of Ziyech makes him feel wanted by Stefano Pioli, whereas he has been given only one Premier League start this season at Chelsea.
He seems to have dropped even further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge since Graham Potter took over from Thomas Tuchel.
Milan and their coach Stefano Pioli have already helped another former Chelsea benchwarmer flourish, as Olivier Giroud has become the leading striker in the France squad at this World Cup.