The Telegraph reported earlier this month that London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are looking at Inter Milan speedster Achraf Hakimi with a view of a potential deal in the summer transfer window.
The Gunners are expected to part ways with Hector Bellerin before the start of next season. The Spaniard, for most parts, has been Mikel Arteta’s first-choice right-back, but he is reportedly considering his future. (CBS Sports)
Arsenal will need to bring in a top-quality replacement if Bellerin leaves, and many feel that there’s not a better option on the market than Hakimi.
The Moroccan only joined Inter last summer but financial difficulties could force the Italian giants to sell some of their best players. Arsenal might look to take advantage of the situation, but Hakimi’s agent has responded to the rumours by claiming that his client has no intention of leaving the club.
Alejandro Camano told CalcioMercato: “As of today, he is very happy to play for such an important club. I don’t know what the future holds, but I say today that Hakimi is happy and his team is Inter.
“The objective is to win the Scudetto. After that, Inter’s situation at the club level is complicated, but I repeat: we are very happy here in football terms. He has a five-year contract, we signed because we were so confident of Inter’s project.
“We’ll see what happens in future, but this is a very important step in his career. We certainly don’t intend on leaving the team in such a delicate situation.”
The Insider’s View:
Inter forked out a staggering £36 million (Goal) to sign Hakimi last summer and the rapid full-back has had a fantastic season so far. He has six goals and six assists to his name, and it is no secret that he is one of Antonio Conte’s most important players.
The Nerazzurri’s financial difficulties are the only reason why clubs like Arsenal are keeping an eye on Hakimi. However, the Gunners’ resources will not be too great either – especially if we miss out on Europe.
It will be interesting to see if Hakimi really does end up moving this summer. Even if he does, Chelsea will be the favourites to get him as Inter will not even consider selling him for less than what they paid for him eight months ago.