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Ziyech played under ten Hag at Ajax between 2017 and 2020 and the duo won Eredivise together while reaching the 2019 Champions League semi-finals too.
The former Morocco international swapped the Johan Cruyff Arena for Stamford Bridge two years ago but has failed to adapt to English football.
He's fallen behind Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic in the pecking order and is seeking a transfer away.
France-based journalist Nabil Djellit claims Ziyech is a 'priority' signing for ten Hag who wants to bolster his attacking options.
However, some members of United's recruitment team are unsure of the 29-year-old's profile and it's blocking a move at this stage.
Serie A champions AC Milan are interested too and Chelsea are reportedly willing to sell for £8 million.
United have signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez so far, with Martinez being part of ten Hag's first-choice defence at Ajax.
Discussions continue over a move for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and executives have met with the agent of RB Salzburg forward Benjamin Sesko.
United finished sixth in the Premier League last season and recorded their lowest-ever points tally.
Six players departed as free agents, including record signing Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani.
Ten Hag believes signing the right player is more important than getting bodies through the door, something United have been accused of doing in recent years.
"We know what we want, and it's not about signing players," the 52-year-old explained. "It's about signing the right players.
"We are really planning it carefully, and we are strict with it, hardworking, to get the right players in to construct a good squad who can win games."
When asked to talk about de Jong specifically, with negotiations entering their twelfth week, he replied: "No, I can’t. I don’t talk about a player who is not under contract at Manchester United."
United start their campaign at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday 7.