Achraf Hakimi speaks out on Inter Milan future amid Arsenal transfer speculation

Arsenal transfer target Achraf Hakimi looks on in Inter Milan training
Arsenal are reportedly lining up a bid for Inter Milan star Achraf Hakimi (Picture: Getty)

Achraf Hakimi has played down speculation he could be set to leave Inter Milan in the summer transfer window and sees his long-term future at the club under ‘big brother’ Antonio Conte.

The 22-year-old right wing-back has been central to Inter’s success in his debut season since arriving from Real Madrid, notching up six goals and five assists with Conte’s side 11 points clear at the top of the table.

Hakimi’s outstanding performances have put Premier League’s elite on red alert and Arsenal are said to have identified him as a possible replacement for Hector Bellerin, who is being linked with PSG and Juventus.

Spanish outlet AS last month claimed Mikel Arteta had welcomed Arsenal’s push to sign the Morocco international, with Inter reportedly prepared to sell if their €50million (£42.7m) asking price is met.

Achraf Hakimi controls the ball during Inter Milan's clash with Cagliari Calcio
The Morocco right-back has had an impressive debut season with Inter (Picture: Getty)

Hakimi’s agent has done little to dampen talk of a potential summer switch and revealed this week that the full-back had been targeted by several teams before opting to join Inter ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

But the player himself is adamant he remains fully focussed on Inter and is ‘very happy’ at the San Siro with the runaway Serie A leaders.

‘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.’

Achraf Hakimi and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte
Hakimi says Conte is like a ‘big brother’ to the Inter Milan squad (Picture: Getty)

On Conte’s influence, Hakimi added: ‘The coach is with us no matter what happens, he’s like a big brother.

‘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.’

Hakimi feels there is still ‘while to go’ in the title race despite the chasm between Inter and nearest rivals AC Milan.

‘We talk about the Scudetto with respect, knowing it’s not won yet,’ he went on.

‘That’s the objective, I won’t lie, but there’s a while to go.’

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