Chelsea are remaining tight-lipped on whether or not they have indeed matched Paris St Germain’s reported £60million bid for Inter Milan defender Achraf Hakimi.
The Moroccan defender, 22, is a man in demand and the French side managed by Mauricio Pochettino are believed to have made the first move, with reports emerging from Italy on Wednesday that the Blues have matched it.
Football.London understands the Blues have yet to make a bid as Thomas Tuchel looks to bolster his Champions League winning squad.
Hakimi joined Inter from Real Madrid for £40million last summer, having also spent two seasons on-loan at Borussia Dortmund. The full-back was a key player for Antonio Conte’s side as they secured a first Scudetto in 11 years in 2020/21.
However, Conte’s departure last month and Inter’s dire financial constraints mean they will be looking to cash in on their prized assets this summer, Hakimi being one and Romelu Lukaku the other.
Lukaku, who is also of interest to Chelsea, has stated he wishes to remain at the San Siro for the foreseeable future as Chelsea look for a new striker this summer.
Erling Haaland remains top of the list for Tuchel and Roman Abramovich in what would be a blockbuster move but he won’t come cheap, believed to be more than £150million. Whether Chelsea would commit to the deal remains to be seen considering the vast expense involved and it would be cheaper to sign Haaland next summer.
A move for Hakimi would be an intriguing one with Reece James, who had a very strong end of the season for the Blues, playing in Hakimi’s position if Tuchel sticks with his back five formation.
James played three times as a right sided centre back towards the end of the campaign, even popping up in midfield against Aston Villa on the final day of the season, before going back to his right wing-back role for the Champions League final.
The England international pocketed Raheem Sterling in Porto and has vastly improved his one on one defending while also adding a wicked delivery to his attacking prowess since becoming an established first team player at Stamford Bridge.
Hakimi does have the ability to play on either flank, which could also come in handy with doubts over the futures of Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri on the left side, both firmly behind Ben Chilwell in the pecking order.
Abramovich met Tuchel for the first time on the pitch after the Champions League final victory over Man City and held productive meetings the morning after, with Tuchel extending his contract by two years in the capital last week.
Thiago Silva and Olivier Giroud have also penned one-year contract extensions but the latter could still move on this summer if Chelsea do sign another striker to compete with Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham.
West Ham are interested in signing Abraham and taking him to east London from west London but are unlikely to match Chelsea’s valuation of the player, believed to be £40million, having struggled for game time under Tuchel.
Abraham was left out of the Champions League final squad in Porto by Tuchel having struggled to force his way into the team ahead of the likes of Werner and Kai Havertz, who scored the winner at the Estadio do Dragao to secure Chelsea’s second Champions League crown.