Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are being linked with a move for Inter Milan defender Achraf Hakimi, amid the Italian club’s current financial troubles.
After two impressive seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund, the Moroccan international was allowed to join Inter on a permanent deal from Real Madrid in the summer, where he has since played a crucial role in their current title challenge.
The 22-year-old has thrived as part of Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 system in the right wing-back role and has netted six goals and contributed five assists in all competitions this season.
While he remains pivotal to the current set-up at the San Siro, the full-back may well be allowed to leave at the end of the season, the Serie A side in the midst of major financial issues.
The club’s owners, Suning Holdings Group, were recently forced to dissolve their Chinese side Jiangsu FC due to their economic woes, despite the club having only won the Chinese Super League in November.
That situation has left Inter fearing for their own future, with the likelihood being that the club will have to sell some key assets this summer, the Telegraph reporting that both Arsenal and Chelsea are looking to capitalise on that financial turmoil by attempting to bring Hakimi to London.
The Gunners have endured a difficult season thus far, although Mikel Arteta will be hoping to bolster his squad this summer with quality additions.
Current right-back Hector Bellerin has been linked with an exit in recent months, potentially opening the door for Hakimi to take his place at the Emirates.
As for the Blues, their switch to a back three under new boss Thomas Tuchel has potentially heightened the need for a top class wing-back, with both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James having slotted in on the right flank since the German took charge.
Even if the former Paris Saint-Germain manager does opt to return to a back four in the future, the club’s belief is that Hakimi can play further up the pitch, either as a midfielder or a winger.
Both clubs will be hoping to secure the player for a fee similar to the £34m that Inter originally paid to prise him from the Bernabeu.