Chelsea 'improve' bid for Inter's Achraf Hakimi

Tom Gott
Chelsea are still chasing Achraf Hakimi
Chelsea are still chasing Achraf Hakimi / Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Chelsea are understood to have increased their offer for Inter right-back Achraf Hakimi in an attempt to beat Paris Saint-Germain to the Moroccan's signature.

The Blues recently matched PSG's bid of around £51m for Hakimi, who Inter would prefer to keep but are prepared to offload for the right price in an attempt to ease their financial troubles, although only if their asking price of closer to £70m is met.

There were suggestions that Chelsea would be prepared to include either Emerson Palmieri or Andreas Christensen in a new bid, and Il Corriere dello Sport (via Football Italia) state that the former has now been formally offered up alongside a fee of £43m.

Chelsea see that as a better offer than their initial cash-only bid, largely because Emerson has been on Inter's radar for years now, but the Serie A side are believed to have knocked it back and stuck to their guns about a purely financial deal.

It seems as though Chelsea aren't listening to that warning from Inter and are prepared to go back with another part-exchange offer. Both Tammy Abraham and Davide Zappacosta have been suggested, and interestingly, so has Mateo Kovacic.

Emerson Palmieri
Emerson has been offered to Inter / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It's here that this story raises eyebrows. Sure, Chelsea would love to offload Emerson or Zappacosta, but including Abraham or Kovacic doesn't make sense for various reasons. Abraham is valued at £40m and would therefore see Inter earn less money, while Kovacic is a first-team regular under Thomas Tuchel and is probably valued even higher.

To make things even more complicated, Inter's cash-only approach might not even be too strict as the Nerazzurri are thought to be keen on another Chelsea left-back, Marcos Alonso, in exchange.

Inter are likely to request Alonso's signature ahead of any of the other players suggested, but it's then claimed that they would actually prefer to sign him in a separate deal anyway.

Marcos Alonso
Inter would prefer Alonso over Emerson / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

So, to give you a quick summary: Inter want cash only and will reject all player swap deals, but could be tempted into a deal if it involves Alonso, but might then ignore that and try sign the Spaniard anyway. Logic.

There's obviously some genuine interest in Hakimi, and the idea of Chelsea trying to use some fringe players to get a deal done does make sense, but there are some real questions about this story itself. Maybe just one to keep an eye on.

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