Man United and Chelsea facing transfer tug-of-war for PSG right-back Achraf Hakimi

Manchester United have joined Premier League rivals Chelsea in the race for Paris Saint-Germain star Achraf Hakimi.


Achraf Hakimi, 24, has established himself as one of the best right-backs in the world in the last couple of years. He has been a mainstay of the Paris Saint-Germain side since his £ 60 million move from Inter Milan back in 2021. The full-back enjoyed a brilliant World Cup in Qatar last year, playing a key role in Morocco reaching the semi-finals where they were eliminated by France.

Back with PSG, Hakimi has enjoyed another impressive season, bagging four goals and five assists in 36 across all competitions. However, PSG are planning a major rebuild of their squad in the summer and are open to offers for their star full-back. They have placed a £50-60million price tag on Hakimi, with Manchester United and Chelsea both reportedly showing interest in him.

Achraf Hakimi would be an upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Reinforcing the right-back position is on the agenda of Man United boss Erik ten Hag this summer, despite Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka performing well this season. There are talks of Dalot getting a new contract from the club, which means Wan-Bissaka is likely to be sacrificed if a new right-back is signed.

Wan-Bissaka was close to leaving Old Trafford in January but an injury to Dalot during the World Cup allowed him an opportunity to win his place in the team back. And he has been one of the consistent performers since the turn of the year, with Ten Hag effusively praising the 24-year-old’s impact both defensively and offensively in games.

However, there remains a chance Man United move Wan-Bissaka on for a more attack-minded right-back who will suit Ten Hag’s system more. That said, United’s interest in Achraf Hakimi makes complete sense. The Moroccan would improve their right-back unit whilst being an instant upgrade on Wan-Bissaka.

Chelsea should avoid signing Achraf Hakimi

On the other hand, as the wretched 2022/23 campaign edges closer to its conclusion, Chelsea have their eyes on rebuilding around potential new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino’s track record of successfully nurturing young talents and giving them ample opportunities to shine in the team is arguably one of the reasons why Chelsea want him as their next permanent manager.

The Blues already are stacked with an abundance of young talents, and co-owner Todd Boehly apparently feels Pochettino is the right fit to take the club forward. The West Londoners are about to have another young talent in the form of Malo Gusto—a teenage right-back signed from Lyon in the January transfer window before being loaned back to the French club.

Chelsea already have a top right-back/wing-back in Reece James. However, James’ form has fallen off a cliff and he has been vulnerable to injuries this season. So, Gusto could be used to cover and compete with James next season by the upcoming new manager.

As Chelsea will have two competent right-backs in James and Gusto next campaign, interest in Hakimi is a head-scratcher. Perhaps, Pochettino’s potential appointment is the reason why the Blues are looking at Hakimi, as the duo have worked together at PSG. Only time will tell how concrete is their interest in the Moroccan international.

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