Chelsea are very much one of the biggest dogs in the yard when it comes to this summer’s transfer window. The Blues possess the financial muscle needed to get big-money deals done and also have the added cache of being European champions.
Erling Haaland is the club’s greatest desire. The Borussia Dortmund frontman will cost more than £200million in fees and wages but is viewed as a game-changing signing for Chelsea, the man who can fire them to sustained Premier League and Champions League glory.
A defensive midfielder is also on the Blues’ wishlist and Declan Rice is reported to be Thomas Tuchel’s preferred option. Any deal for the West Ham United star will, however, be costly and only come to fruition after this summer’s European Championships.
And then there is Achraf Hakimi. The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the finest wng-backs in European football over the past three seasons and last term played a key role in helping Inter win the Serie A title for the first time in nine years.
There is a deal to be done for Hakimi this summer. Inter’s financial situation dictates that. According to Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, the club’s president Steven Zhang is hoping to make a profit of around £60million in the transfer market this summer while bringing down the club’s wage bill by around 15%.
Chelsea have submitted an offer for Hakimi understood to be in the region of £56m, but they face competition from Paris Saint-Germain. Inter have yet to agree terms with either club.
It’s why stories continue to emanate from Italy regarding Chelsea’s move for the Morocco international.
There have been reports of the Blues’ offering Emerson Palmieri to the Nerazzurri. Il Corriere dello Sport have also claimed the champions of Europe have given Inter the chance to pick from three other players as potential makeweights: Davide Zappacosta, Mateo Kovacic and Tammy Abraham.
Zappacosta is very much likely to depart Chelsea this summer given he has only 12 months remaining on his deal. Emerson is also in the same situation at Stamford Bridge.
But Kovacic and Abraham? That’s a very different story.
Chelsea are open to letting Abraham leave this summer but value the academy graduate in excess of £30million. Kovacic, meanwhile, was signed by the Blues from Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 for £40million.
If either were to be used as makeweights in a deal for Hakimi, it would significantly lower the fee the Italian club received from Chelsea; it is unlikely the Blues would put more than £15million in cash on the table in such circumstances.
That doesn’t help Inter out of their financial predicament. They need money and fairly quickly.
It’s why if Chelsea are intent on bringing Hakimi to Stamford Bridge, their best bet would be to offer the Serie A champions a straight cash deal. That’s what will get the transfer done.