Improved €70m bid leaves Chelsea mulling summer-defining decision

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea manager

Chelsea are being faced with a decision that will greatly impact their summer plans after news emerged of an improved €70m bid for a top Blues target.

Chelsea were the Premier League’s biggest spenders last season, forking out around £250m on new faces. After a sluggish start, the arrival of Thomas Tuchel had a galvanising effect on the club’s season, ultimately ending with success in Europe. However, a by-product of the German’s impact could be that a smaller transfer budget is available this time round.

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Tuchel has already indicated that he believes only a handful of players will be bought this summer. As such, identifying the right targets is more critical than ever.

One player who has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge is Achraf Hakimi.

The Inter right-back would be a perfect fit for Tuchel’s system and provide competition for Reece James for years to come.

The Serie A champions are open to several key sales amid financial struggles brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chelsea were thought to have an ace up their sleeve in the Hakimi stakes given Inter’s interest in several potential Blues makeweights.

However, trusted football journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed that despite their interest, Chelsea are yet to spring into action.

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Conversely, their main rival in the race – PSG – have laid their cards on the table.

Romano tweeted that PSG are ‘working to improve their bid’ which is expected to total ‘€70m‘ including add-ons.

The French side are deemed ‘confident’ of pulling off the coup, but Inter will be hoping Chelsea act on their interest and start a bidding war.

That was quickly backed up by Sky Sports who indicated the bid has in fact been lodged. Their report noted that the two clubs are ‘locked in talks.’ As such, they stated an agreement could be ‘reached in a matter of hours.’

Achraf Hakimi, Inter full-back

Given a deal for Hakimi is likely to cost at least what PSG are prepared to pay, Chelsea are faced with a difficult decision.

Such a large outlay could impact their ability to pull off deals in other areas. Their desire to land a big-name striker has been well documented.

But should they dally, the Blues face missing out on one of the world’s most threatening wing-backs.

Chelsea facing loss on forgotten man

Meanwhile, Chelsea are ready to sanction a permanent move for Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer, but know they will have to accept a fraction of the £40m they paid for him in 2017.

The midfielder featured in 30 Serie A matches while on loan with Napoli last year. However, they have decided not to pursue the player with coach Gennaro Gattuso leaving. Gattuso has taken over at Fiorentina, while Luciano Spalletti is the new man in Naples.

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport  last month, Napoli have “no intention” of signing Bakayoko permanently. The €18m asking price they were quoted in November was said to be still in place, but they were not willing to meet it.

He is not understood to be in the thinking of Tuchel for next season. However, Milan, where he enjoyed his best loan spell to date are interested in bringing him back.

Gazzetta dello Sport via Sport Witness explain Bakayoko is “ready to move again. Though this time the one-way ticket would make everyone happier”.

What is more Bakayoko “wishes to return to the Rossoneri, and above all stay”. That could mean a loan with an obligation to buy next summer.

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