Chelsea have reportedly opened negotiations with Spanish giants Real Madrid for the signing of Achraf Hakimi, who has impressed on loan at Borussia Dortmund.
As per a report from the Mirror, Chelsea have entered into negotiations with La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid for the potential acquisition of Moroccan full-back Achraf Hakimi, who is currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund.
A product of the Real Madrid academy, Hakimi made his first-team debut in 2017 and made 17 appearances, before joining Borussia Dortmund on a two-year loan deal in 2020. The 21-year-old has made quite an impression during his time in Germany, establishing himself as a regular member of the Dortmund side.
Hakimi has enjoyed an exceptional 2019-20 campaign, having produced a return of seven goals and ten assists in 37 matches across all competitions. The progress that the Moroccan has made during his spell at Signal Iduna Park hasn’t gone unnoticed with a number of clubs taking an interest in the versatile full-back.
Moreover, the fact that Dortmund do not have the option of making the transfer permanent at the end of his loan spell has provided encouragement to the interested parties. And Chelsea have taken the first step to try and sign Hakimi next season, by opening a line of negotiation with his parent club Real Madrid.
Chelsea have had a fairly solid campaign under Frank Lampard despite their being bouts of inconsistencies here and there. However, it is clear that the Blues are in need of reinforcements especially at the back where they have been found wanting at times.
Reece James has made the right-back spot his own in his breakthrough campaign with Lampard often using captain Cesar Azpilicueta on the opposite side. Neither of Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri have been convincing enough and one of the two could be offloaded in the summer.
And with Azpilicueta turning 31 in a few months, it would bode well for Chelsea to add to their full-back contigent. Hakimi, to that end, would be a fine addition. The Moroccan can operate on both right and left sides and can be deployed in advanced positions on the flanks as well.
Should either of Alonso or Emerson leave, Hakimi can slot in at left-back allowing James to continue his growth at right-back and Azpilicueta can be slowly phased out of the first-team.
Hakimi is contracted with Real Madrid till the summer of 2022 and has a release clause of £50 million. The 21-year-old is likely to be included in the first-team plans next season at the Bernabeu, but a failure to guarantee regular starting berth could see the full-back look for greener pastures.
Chelsea, who have also been linked with Nicolas Tagliafico and Marc Cucurella, will need to match the release clause to sign Hakimi. It remains to be seen if the Blues do act on their initial interest in the Moroccan international and launch a move in the summer.