Arsenal: Arteta opens up on tactical switch in defeat
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Julian Nagelsmann has reportedly identified Arsenal target Achraf Hakimi as a key target for Bayern Munich in a potential blow to Mikel Arteta’s plans for the summer transfer window. The RB Leipzig boss is drawing up his wishlist as he prepares to take charge of Bundesliga giants Bayern, with Inter Milan right-back Hakimi high on his list of priorities.
Nagelsmann’s apparent decision to target Hakimi could be bad news for the Gunners, with the 22-year-old being viewed as a potential replacement for Hector Bellerin.
Bellerin has been linked with interest from Barcelona, Juventus and Paris-Saint Germain, and has seen his place come under threat recently from Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares.
Hakimi has starred during for Antonio Conte’s side during Inter’s triumphant title-winning season, with the Morocco international having scored seven goals and posted eight assists in addition to his defensive duties.
But his performances have also alerted incoming Bayern boss Nagelsmann, who wants to add Hakimi’s attacking abilities to his squad, according to reports from Germany.
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German journalist Manuel Bonke, a respected authority on matters concerning Bayern, claims Nagelsmann has the attacking full-back high on his wishlist as he considers him the ideal fit for his system.
However, he claims the fee for Hakimi could be a sticking point, with Inter expected to demand around €58million euros (£50m) for the right-back.
That could also present a problem for Arsenal, who are not likely to be able to spend huge sums amid the ongoing pandemic.
Of course, much could depend on the result of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg, with the Premier League side trailing Villarreal 2-1 as they target Europe’s second-tier trophy in a bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
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Transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed Arsenal will target a new right-back in the summer transfer window, saying Bellerin will definitely leave.
He claimed Hakimi and Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey are both on the Gunners’ radar, but that no approach has yet been made for the former, while the latter is not being viewed as a priority target.
And it remains to be seen whether Hakimi can be persuaded to leave the San Siro following comments he made on his future last month.
“The team that attracted me the most was Inter and I saw it as a growth project,” Hakimi told La Repubblica.
“I am honoured to be one of the testimonials for the new club logo. I like it, as it looks to the future, a future we can build together.
“I hope to stay at this club for a long time and I’m very happy.
“The coach is with us no matter what happens, he’s like a big brother.
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“Many of us were new and we managed to know each other better and then the Champions League elimination allowed us to focus only on Serie A.”
Conte’s side have of course since won the Serie A title – ending Juve’s nine-year hold on the Scudetto.
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