Chelsea, Arsenal defenders on Inter’s list for Hakimi replacement

Date published: Friday 25th June 2021 3:03 - Dan Burnham

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin Arsenal v Man City July 2020

Achraf Hakimi’s transfer to PSG could see Inter Milan turn to Chelsea or Arsenal for a right-back replacement, it has been claimed.

Hakimi is on his way out of the door at Inter as the Italian giants look to cash-in on one of their most impressive performers from last season. The 22-year-old registered seven goals and eight assists as his side won their first Serie A title in 11 years. Having established himself as one of the world’s best right-backs at such a young age, he commands a considerable transfer fee.

This is exactly what Inter need to receive this summer due to their poor financial situation. Hence, Hakimi is being sold only one year after signing on a permanent basis.

It looks as though renowned big-spenders PSG are close to making the Moroccan theirs in a €70m deal.

Although, Chelsea are reported to have made a last-ditch attempt to hijack the transfer that they have been battling for in recent weeks.

Reports suggest that PSG remain favourites, though, with the Blues not able to muster the financial firepower that the Parisians possess.

Regardless of where he ends up, Inter will be needing a cost-effective replacement for Hakimi. According to one Italian newspaper, they could turn to Chelsea or Arsenal to find this.

Gazzetta dello Sport (translated by Sport Witness) are reporting that Davide Zappacosta and Hector Bellerin feature on a three-man shortlist of replacement options.

Bellerin is apparently viewed as an ‘old favourite’ at Inter. He was a target for the club when current Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti was in charge from 2017-2019.

Rumours have circulated that Bellerin will be sold this summer and Inter see the 26-year-old as a worthwhile investment.

However, they are reportedly only looking to use €15m of Hakimi’s transfer fee, which could prove not enough to secure the Spaniard.

Chelsea outcast Zappacosta, meanwhile, looks more attainable with that budget. He’s also well versed with Serie A, having played for Atalanta, Torino, and most recently Genoa on loan last season.

The third man on the list is said to be Lazio’s Manuel Lazzari.

Bellerin not the only Arsenal exit on the cards

Elsewhere, Arsenal have been told that Lucas Torreira would like to return to Italian football this summer by his agent.

Torreira joined the Gunners from Sampdoria in 2018 and looked like an ideal midfield reinforcement. He made 89 appearances across two seasons before falling out of favour under Mikel Arteta. Thus, he joined Madrid on loan for the 2020-21 season, as Thomas Partey came the other way.

 

Despite winning the La Liga title, it was not a particularly happy year for Torreira. On the pitch, he only made three league starts.

Meanwhile, in his personal life, his mother passed away, prompting him to consider his future.

READ MOREArsenal have ‘understood’ star’s situation as exit avenue grows more likely

 

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