Chelsea are eyeing up a potential move for Paris Saint-Germain star Achraf Hakimi this summer as Reece James continues to be linked with a move to Manchester City.
The Blues are set to make a host of signings as Thomas Tuchel begins to rebuild his squad when the proposed takeover goes through, and the Morocco international has emerged as a surprise target. The German boss has cancelled his holiday in order to devote his attentions to summer preparations.
He has already confirmed that Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen will leave this summer but there could be more big-name departures too, with the futures of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta up in the air. This would leave major holes in defence and those players will need replacing, with Jules Kounde and Josko Gvardiol touted as potential targets for the Blues
However, Chelsea may need to look for a replacement for James, with Manchester City and Real Madrid reportedly holding an interest in the England international. The 22-year-old was arguably Chelsea’s most important player last season despite his injury issues, scoring six goals and grabbing 10 assists in 39 games.
The Athletic reported on Monday that Chelsea are preparing to hold contract talks with James but may be preparing for his potential departure further down the line. They also report that Hakimi’s situation in Paris is being monitored as they consider a surprise transfer for the wing-back.
Hakimi has been a long-term transfer target for the Blues ever since his impressive campaign for Inter Milan, where he became one of the best performing wing-backs in world football. The 23-year-old scored seven goals for Antonio Conte’s side as they won the Serie A title in 2020/21 after previously hitting similar numbers for Borussia Dortmund. Tuchel worked with Hakimi at the German side back in 2018.
Hakimi is well-versed in playing in a back-five system and would be suited to slotting straight into Tuchel’s side. Although Inter played with a front two in Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, leaving space out wide for Hakimi to get into, he may not get as much at Chelsea with Tuchel often operating with a front three and wingers instead.
But James did manage to get a lot of success out wide, meaning he was able to get on the scoresheet and grab a number of assists throughout the season. Hakimi could follow suit, especially when Ben Chilwell gets gets back to full fitness, giving opponents another problem out wide to deal with
- Chelsea Unveils New Jersey Sponsor For The 2023/2024 Season
- Christopher Nkunku, Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia send Chelsea star message upon return from knock
- Mauricio Pochettino breaks silence on Reece James after Chelsea star charged by the FA
- Just IN: Chelsea announce £40m Infinite Athlete shirt sponsorship deal
- Starting Lineup Of Chelsea Players That Are Currently Unavailable Due To Injury Or Suspension