Chelsea have reportedly leapfrogged Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Inter Milan’s Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi in the summer transfer window.

According to a report from Football Insider, reigning European champions Chelsea have taken the lead over French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain in pursuit of Inter Milan right-back Achraf Hakimi.

Hakimi, a product of the Real Madrid youth academy, signed for Inter Milan in the summer transfer window last year, after a two-year loan stint with Borussia Dortmund. Having made the switch to Italy, the right-back enjoyed a stunning debut season, bagging seven goals and ten assists in 37 Serie A games, playing an integral role in the Nerazzurri’s title triumph.

However, Inter Milan’s financial plight has meant that the club could be forced into selling at least one of their key players this summer, leading to increasing interest in the services of Hakimi. Indeed, the 22-year-old Moroccan international has now emerged as a transfer target for Chelsea, as well as Paris Saint-Germain.

Chelsea, at the moment, have Reece James as their preferred option at right wing-back, with manager Thomas Tuchel also using Cesar Azpilcueta and Callum Hudson-Odoi in the position. However, neither is a natural in the role and with Azpilicueta not getting any younger and Hudson-Odoi being linked with an exit this summer, it makes sense for the Blues to secure a new right-back like Hakimi to compete with James.

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However, the west London giants are facing stern competition from Tuchel’s former employers, PSG, for the signing of the Inter Milan defender. The Parisian giants are in need of a new right-sided full-back having decided not to convert Alessandro Florenzi’s loan deal into a permanent one, which has left Mauricio Pochettino with Colin Dagba as the only natural option in the position.

Both Chelsea and PSG are said to have already made offers worth £56.1 million for Hakimi, only to see them rejected by Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri are understood to be holding out for a transfer fee of £68.8 million. The Blues, though, are said to have a major advantage over PSG in talks with Inter Milan, as they have players in the squad to offer in a potential part-exchange deal.

While the report does not mention any specific Chelsea player, Emerson Palmieri could be one such star who could be used as a makeweight, considering Inter Milan’s long-standing interest in the Italian. In addition, it is claimed that Chelsea also have agreed personal terms with Hakimi, handing them a further boost in the race for the 22-year-old.

So, as things stand, Chelsea have leapt in front of PSG in the race for Hakimi. What now remains to be seen is whether the Blues meet Inter’s valuation for him or offer a player in a part-exchange deal to secure the transfer of the former Real Madrid star.

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