The pre-season is well and truly underway, and one of the high-profile players seemingly set to move clubs across Europe is Inter Milan wingback Achraf Hakimi. Chelsea has emerged as a serious candidate, but Chelsea has baulked at the asking price of the Italian club, which has placed a £69 million valuation on the 24-year-old.
Several sources have indicated that Chelsea, together with PSG, has made an offer for £51.8 million, and that is according to Sky Sports. Chelsea's interest in the 22-year-old comes as a surprise, but they are in a strong financial position to strengthen significantly, especially after winning the Champions League and finishing fourth in the Premier League. The club has been keeping tabs on Hakimi’s growth for quite some time now.
Versatility and Pace
Hakimi is a wingback who is versatile, capable of playing on either the right or left side of the pitch, depending on how the manager has set up the teams formation. After rising through the ranks at Real Madrid and spending a season on loan with Borussia Dortmund, Hakimi joined Inter Milan just last summer for a fee of £35 million. The defender made 37 appearances in the league and scored seven goals. Conte's 3-5-2 shape suited his style of play and his incredible speed and enthusiasm were critical factors in the team’s success.
The interest in Hakimi raises concerns about the future of several Chelsea defenders, who are expected to leave the club in the near future. Emerson is virtually set to depart Stamford Bridge this summer, while Marcos Alonso, who had struggled last season, might also depart the club this summer. If they both do leave, Hakimi will join Ben Chilwell and Recce James as the attacking linchpins in Thomas Tuchel’s backline, as they played important roles in helping the team win the Champions League championship and finish in the top four last season.
Competition for his services
Inter Milan has signed the Moroccan international to a deal that will last until 2025 and Chelsea will therefore have to pay a hefty fee for his services and his salary will also be fairly costly, at roughly £75,000 per week after tax, a gross wage of more than £150,000 per week to tempt him to the club. They might also have to battle the mighty PSG for the wingback's services, as they have also been monitoring his rising star.