Chelsea have made an improved offer for Achraf Hakimi worth £43m [€50m] plus Emerson Palmieri in exchange for the Inter Milan star, according to reports in Italy via the Mirror.
Thomas Tuchel guided Chelsea to the Champions League last month after beating Manchester City in the final but the German coach is still expected to be extremely busy in the transfer market this summer as he looks to further strengthen his squad.
The Blues are being tipped to bring in defensive reinforcements and Hakimi has emerged as a prime target with widespread reports in recent weeks suggesting that Chelsea are working on a deal to sign the attacking right-back.
After seeing their opening bid knocked back, it appears Chelsea have now tested Inter Milan’s resolve with a fresh offer. The Mirror are citing a report from the print version of II Corriere dello Sport that claims the Blues have put £43m [€50m] plus Emerson Palmieri on the table in exchange for Hakimi’s signature.
To sweeten the deal further, the Italian outlet says Chelsea will allow Inter to choose from three other players that could be used as part of any deal. Davide Zappacosta and Tammy Abraham are two names mentioned but perhaps surprisingly, the report also claims Chelsea are prepared to use Mateo Kovacic as bait to land Hakimi.
James in defence?
It remains to be seen how Inter Milan will respond to Chelsea’s latest proposal but Hakimi would be an interesting signing if the west Londoners can get a deal over the line this summer.
The 22-year-old has forged a reputation as one of the best attacking full-backs in European football as he scored 7 goals and provided a further 11 assists last season to help Inter win the Serie A title.
The Moroccan international can play at right-back but has excelled in the right wing-back position during his time in Italy so would fit perfectly into Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 formation at Stamford Bridge.
However, Hakimi’s arrival would cast doubt over Reece James’ place in Tuchel’s starting eleven as he cemented himself as a first team regular in the right wing-back role for Chelsea last season.
James did spend time on the right side of the back three during the closing games so perhaps Tuchel plans to use him in defence more regularly next season and have Hakimi as his first choice wing back.