If you were to look at the best full-backs in world football in the last three years, former Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund full-back Achraf Hakimi would have to be high-up on the list. A rampaging full-back who can score or assist with confidence, he fits perfectly into a full-back or wing-back role. However, a failure to break into the Real Madrid first-team picture after returning from a two-year loan with Dortmund meant that Hakimi was keen to move on. A move in the region of €40m was made to Italy with Internazionale.
Despite impressing enough to ensure Inter can sit ten clear ahead of Juventus in the league title race, Hakimi could yet be sold in the summer. Inter are owned by Suning, who have looked to cut their funding to external parties like Inter after the COVID-19 crisis. So much so that talk of a summer sale for the entire club has taken place. With the club likely in need of bringing in funds, though, it could be the energetic wing-back who is sacrificed.
Interest from London giants Arsenal and Chelsea is known to be true, especially as Arsenal sweat over the future of Hector Bellerin. Signing Hakimi would offer an instant upgrade and give either club one of the fastest, strongest outlets for wing play in the world today.
A return to Madrid was briefly mentioned, too, but is deemed unlikely as Madrid try to consolidate their funds into signing a marquee striker.
What happens with Hakimi in the summer?
When speaking to Calciomercato, Hakimi’s agent and representative, Alejandro Camano, said: As of today, he is very happy to play for such an important club. I don’t know what the future holds, but I say today that Hakimi is happy and his team is Inter.
“The objective is to win the Scudetto. After that, Inter’s situation at the club level is complicated, but I repeat: we are very happy here in football terms.
“He has a five-year contract, we signed because we were so confident of Inter’s project. We’ll see what happens in future, but this is a very important step in his career. We certainly don’t intend on leaving the team in such a delicate situation.”
With the financial issues already noted by his reps, it is hard to believe that Inter won’t need to make some kind of concessions in the summer. Given the likely earning of a first title since Jose Mourinho was manager a decade ago, this might come as a blow to Inter fans who hoped to build as opposed to break-up one of the most energetic, enterprising teams on the continent.
Thanks to the murky situation around ownership, though, it is hard to get a true reading on what has to happen. If Suning can find a way to fully access funding again, though, a move would likely be off the table. For Inter, the only reason to sacrifice Hakimi would be for a massive financial reward.