Inter

Inter draw up three-player shortlist to replace Achraf Hakimi

Robbie Copeland
Bellerin is one player on the agenda for Inter
Bellerin is one player on the agenda for Inter / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin is among the three players shortlisted by Inter as they look to replace Achraf Hakimi on a relatively shoestring budget.

The financial situation is pretty grim in the blue corner of San Siro, and the Inter hierarchy's determination to sell players to raise money was one of the key reasons behind Antonio Conte's controversial departure last month.

The Italian walked away having just won Serie A, with chairman Steven Zhang hinting at 'different views' on how the club should be run.

"We must reduce costs and control risks," he said at the time. "This obviously also influences the transfer market strategy. Our different views on the situation led to the separation. What wasn't fundamental for him, was for the club, and vice-versa. Conte is a top coach, but as president I have to think about the solidity of the club."

One thing is for sure: Conte certainly wouldn't have wanted to sell Hakimi. But it is now widely reported, and indeed expected, that the Moroccan will join PSG in a deal worth €70m (£60m).

Gianluca Di Marzio claim that Inter won't be rushed into signing a replacement as they carefully consider their options. At this stage, though, three players have been outlined; Arsenal's Bellerin, Chelsea's Davide Zappacosta, and PSV star Denzel Dumfries.

Denzel Dumfries, Ezgjan Alioski
Dumfries in action for the Netherlands / BSR Agency/Getty Images

Interestingly, Di Mario notes that Dumfries is the least likely due to the 'high cost' of the deal. But the 25-year-old, who is impressing at Euro 2020, would only cost around €16m (£13.7m) if reports elsewhere are to be believed.

Bellerin could come marginally cheaper than that given he is out of contract in two years and seemingly unsettled at Arsenal, but his higher wage demands would surely offset any potential saving on the transfer fee.

Zappacosta, meanwhile, does appear to be the cheapest option of the three. The experienced Italian enjoyed a strong season on loan at Genoa last term, and Chelsea - with Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta miles ahead of him in the pecking order - would likely listen to any reasonable bids.

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