It took a minute, but PSG have finally been motivated into action regarding their interest in Achraf Hakimi — which is apparently strongly reciprocated, or at least stronger than any interest the 22-year-old might have in Chelsea.
According to French Transfer Oracle Mohamed Bouhafsi, PSG have “come closer” to Hakimi in “recent hours”, after stalling their pursuit when Inter Milan rejected their €60m offer. That gave space for Chelsea rumors to start growing, and growing fairly strong, even as Hakimi’s priority was said to be PSG from the start.
So, all along, this smelled less like actual interest and like more of someone wanting to play the two suitors off of each other, and that’s precisely what’s happening now, with PSG supposedly ready to up their offer package to €70m. Inter had been looking for €80m, to help balance their books, but perhaps they can settle on this middle ground with PSG.
"Le PSG s’est rapproché ces dernières heures pour Hakimi . Chelsea s’est rapproché des demandes de l’Inter, mais la priorité d’Hakimi est le PSG. Les discussions ont repris et le transfert pourrait avoisiner les 70 M€ bonus compris"— Hadrien Grenier (@hadrien_grenier) June 18, 2021
(@mohamedbouhafsi sur @RMCsport)
From the Chelsea perspective, even though Hakimi is undoubtedly a great talent with some great qualities (especially his speed), €70m is perhaps a fee too far, especially for a position where we have Reece James already (who can play center in a three as well of course). Some versions of this rumor had Chelsea sending Marcos Alonso and/or Davide Zappacosta the other way, which would’ve been useful however. Perhaps Inter can use a bit of the Hakimi money to make that happen.
Still time for twists and turns in this story — I’d bet decent money on Chelsea “matching” the offer, according to Dartboard dello Monkeys — but Hakimi still looks likely to end up at PSG, just as he had been all along.