Chelsea have advantage over PSG as Thomas Tuchel to step up Achraf Hakimi transfer race

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Chelsea appear to have the advantage over Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Achraf Hakimi. The Inter Milan wing-back has been identified as one Thomas Tuchel’s top targets for the summer window as his squad overhaul begins.

Ben Chilwell and Reece James are currently the first-choice wing-backs in the 3-4-2-1 system that the Blues play under Tuchel.

But the competition for those spots behind them is in need of an upgrade, with neither Marcos Alonso nor Emerson Palmieri proving to Tuchel that they can be long-term options.

That has forced Tuchel at times to move Cesar Azpilicueta from the third centre-back spot he has excelled in out to the right of midfield when James in unavailable.

That problem could be solved by the signing of Hakimi, who starred for Inter as they won their first Serie A title in more than a decade.

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The 22-year-old missed just one game as the right wing-back in Antonio Conte’s system, scoring seven goals and notching 10 assists.

His ability to also play on the left as marked him out as a top target for Chelsea, with The Sun reporting that Tuchel wants to make him his first signing.

But Tuchel’s former club PSG are also keen on the Tunisian international and have already submitted an opening bid for him.

That deal and Chelsea’s matching of that offer were both rejected by the Italian giants, who are facing massive financial issues.

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The Sun claim that PSG remain the frontrunners to sign Hakimi, but in a boost to the Blues, they could gain the upper hand in negotiations.

That is because Inter are long-time admirers of Emerson, with the Italian having coming close to moving to the San Siro several times in past seasons.

Emerson has struggled to break into the Chelsea team since joining from Roma three years ago, making just 15 appearances in all competitions last term.

With James, Azpilicueta and potentially Hakimi all ahead of him in the pecking order, an exit from Stamford Bridge appears to be imminent.

With transfer budgets set to be slashed due to the impact of coronavirus, offering a ready-made replacement for Hakimi could put the Blues ahead in the race.

The Premier League side could even sweeten the deal by also offering centre-back Andreas Christensen to Inter.

According to The Sun, Tuchel will look to add more pace to the heart of his defensive by pushing James back.

They state that that means Danish international Christensen could be sent to the San Siro in an attempt to drive down Hakimi’s hefty price tag.
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