Chelsea remain keen on completing the signing of Inter Milan right wing-back Achraf Hakimi this summer in a bid to strengthen their defensive options.
Head coachThomas Tuchel, who guided the club to their second UEFA Champions League crown in nine years last month, has aspirations to put his own stamp of authority on his squad after succeeding Frank Lampard towards the end of the January transfer window earlier this year.
It is understood that the German, formerly of both Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, has aspirations to add three new faces to his squad this summer, with a right wing-back, a central-midfielder and a striker at the top of his wish list.
In the last couple of weeks or so, landing Hakimi has been a top priority for the Blues, who made an initial offer of £56.1million for his services almost two weeks ago. The Moroccan international is seen as the ideal candidate to strengthen the right side of Tuchel’s defence, with the former Real Madrid man fitting the profile for being an attack-minded defender.
However, although Chelsea tabled a big-money bid to consolidate their interest in Hakimi they are yet to reach an agreement with Inter, as the Italian giants are holding out for as much money as possible, with it claimed that they hope to secure around €80million (£68.6million) for his services.
But in a bid to avoid spending more money than they need to do to land Hakimi, the Blues are set to offer a player-plus-cash deal to bring the Moroccan to west London. The player that the Blues do seem set to use as part of the deal is Marcos Alonso, who is not thought to have a massive future at Stamford Bridge under Tuchel.
However, even if Chelsea had to fork out £68.6million, as well as offload Alonso, in order to get Hakimi, they would still be landing a player for less than what he is currently valued at.
According to the CIES Football Observatory, Hakimi is currently valued at £80.1million, meaning the Blues, should they get a deal over the line, would be saving around £12million.
At just 22-years-old, Hakimi has his best years ahead of him, meaning his value will no doubt increase year-on-year as he gets older, as well as hopefully getting better and better.
Hakimi was a shining light for Inter during their Serie A title-winning campaign last term, scoring seven goals and claiming ten assists in 37 league games.
Having proven he is capable of doing that, Chelsea will be hoping to see him replicate it in the Premier League if they successfully get a deal over the line.