Football

Arsenal dealt Achraf Hakimi transfer blow as worrying Bayern Munich claim made

Arsenal could face stiff competition from Bayern Munich for the signature of Inter Milan‘s Achraf Hakimi this summer, with his agent suggesting that a move to the German champions could be the defender’s preferred outcome. Hakimi has been linked with the Gunners in recent months amid speculation regarding the immediate future of Hector Bellerin, who has been tipped to leave the club at the end of the season.

The Spaniard has struggled to live up to expectations since the beginning of the campaign, with Mikel Arteta often choosing to deploy Calum Chambers in the right-back berth as of late.

Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain appear to be the frontrunners in the race to land Bellerin, but it remains to be seen whether or not he will be allowed to depart the Emirates Stadium with his contract running until 2023.

If he does leave, Hakimi is said to be near the top of Arteta’s wish list ahead of the summer transfer window.

The Morocco international has established himself as one of the best full-backs in world football over the last few seasons, playing an important role in helping Inter to clinch the Serie A title this time around.

Although the Gunners would benefit from having a player of Hakimi’s ilk within their ranks, it seems as though club director Edu could be facing an uphill battle in convincing the 22-year-old to join.

Bayern have also been linked with the Inter man, with incoming boss Julian Nagelsmann said to be a keen admirer.

Hakimi’s agent Alejandro Camano has suggested that his client would prefer to join the Bavarian giants over Arsenal, claiming that Die Roten are one of the most attractive sides on the planet.

When quizzed on Bayern’s reported interest, Camano told German outlet TZ: “That wouldn’t surprise me, Bayern is one of the best clubs in the world.

“If they are looking for someone, the player has to be the best in their position. And Achraf is the best in his position.”

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Although a summer switch seems possible for Hakimi, there is a good chance that he could opt to stay at Inter into next season and beyond.

The defender and Antonio Conte are known to have a strong working relationship, with the player himself thanking his manager for helping to fine-tune his game during a recent interview.

“We worked on things like concentration, positioning, some basic aspects,” Hakimi told The Athletic last month.

“But also the not-so-basic [things] like when I need to come out of the line, what I need to do in different situations. Especially when we are playing with a line of five.

“It is not that I am a winger, I am still a full-back. That has helped me and I am thankful to Conte for helping me to improve.

“Conte does not give you loads of instructions, but he does work a lot on tactical elements.

“As I was new he wanted to polish that aspect so that I could adapt as quickly as possible to the team and the style of play he wanted, so we have worked quite a lot on that.”


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