Chelsea have stepped up their interest in signing Inter Milan full-back Achraf Hakimi, but face competition from Paris Saint-Germain.
The Blues have already made the first offer of €60m, similar to that of Paris Saint-Germain. However, the offer made by both Chelsea and PSG are some way short of Inter Milan’s asking price of €80m. Inter are in desperate need of cash, with manager Antonio Conte leaving the club shortly after guiding them to Serie A title for the first time in 11 years because of their need to sell key players this summer.
One of the key players behind Inter’s league triumph was Achraf Hakimi, 22, who arrived at San Siro last summer in a £40million deal from Real Madrid. The Moroccan international established himself as an exciting wing-back in Antonio Conte’s system, missing just one league game to help deliver the Scudetto to the Nerazzurri.
One of Serie A’s best performers this past season, Hakimi was involved in 17 goals in 37 games with his attacking and aggressive displays down the right catching Chelsea and PSG’s eye.
Chelsea to offer Emerson and Andreas Christensen in exchange for Hakimi?
As per a report from Sky Italia, Chelsea apparently have an upper hand over PSG due to Inter Milan’s interest in two of their players in Emerson Palmieri and Andreas Christensen. Keeping that in mind, Chelsea may attempt to sweeten Hakimi’s deal by offering both Emerson and Christensen in the arrangement.
Emerson, rated at around €20 million, is a part of Italy’s squad for the upcoming European Championship. He is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge having rarely featured under Thomas Tuchel.
However, the same cannot be said of Christensen, who has revived his fortunes at Chelsea following Tuchel’s arrival. The Dane put in an impressive display in the Champions League final win over Manchester City last month in Portugal after coming on as a substitute for the injured Thiago Silva.
Why Achraf Hakimi could be a brilliant signing for the Blues?
Hakimi was one of Serie A’s best players last season, contributing with seven goals and 10 assists in 37 outings. Chelsea’s interest in the 22-year-old, meanwhile, arises from their lack of options in the right wing-back position.
Reece James has been excellent at right-wing-back, both offensively and defensively. He put in a colossal performance in the Champions League final, keeping Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling at bay. Although the young international has shown a lot of promise, Tuchel wants to add competition, and possibly, more quality and depth down the wide areas.
That’s when the signing of Hakimi, who is equally adept playing at left wing-back, as a full-back or a winger, would make perfect sense for the Pensioners. Tuchel’s side can benefit a great deal from the winning mentality and versatility the 22-year-old brings to the table.
With his best years still ahead of him, the ex-Real Madrid man could be a long-term investment for Chelsea. In addition, Hakimi’s qualities in the final third coupled with the ever-improving defensive nous make him an able fit for Tuchel’s side.
Thus, this move is a no-brainer for Chelsea, especially considering Inter Milan are open to selling Hakimi to balance their books.