Borussia Dortmund star Achraf Hakimi, who is currently on a two-year loan from Real Madrid, is now being courted by Manchester City. The Citizens are ready to meet his £54 million price-tag, as per latest reports.
The Madrid-born player has been in phenomenal form since joining Dortmund on loan in the summer of 2018.
Hakimi, who has made 71 appearances across all competitions for BVB, has been linked with several European elites, with the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City credited with showing interest in the Moroccan international.
Borussia Dortmund, for their part, are keen to retain the services of the 21-year-old for at least one more season, while the player is reportedly eager to return to his parent club. But Real Madrid could be open to selling the dynamic full-back if their asking price is met.
Pep Guardiola is a fan of Achraf Hakimi
It is being reported that Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola is unhappy with his options at right-back, and wants to bring in Achraf Hakimi to compete with Kyle Walker for a place in the playing XI.
The Premier League giants signed Joao Cancelo from Juventus last summer itself, but the Portuguese international is yet to find his feet at the Etihad. As a result, the Citizens have identified Hakimi as a possible recruit once the transfer window opens.
Manchester City are currently awaiting the result of their appeal in CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) against a two-year Champions League ban handed to them by the UEFA.
The Premier League champions will not pursue any dealings in the transfer market before finding out the fate of their appeal.
That being said, Guardiola is known to be a fan of Hakimi and wants to sign the young defender as he plans to mount a serious title challenge next season.
Why Manchester City right choice for Hakimi?
While Achraf Hakimi remains keen to return and fight for his place at Real Madrid, a move to Manchester City does make sense for the Morrocan in the current scheme of things.
That’s because Dani Carvajal is currently the first-choice right-back at the Bernabeu, and at 28, the Spaniard is expected to be around for at least four-five seasons minimum. So, Hakimi would have to wait to get regular playing time in the Spanish capital.
Moreover, if he decides to move to the Etihad, the youngster would not only get a chance to play under Pep Guardiola, who is well renowned for improving his players greatly, but it would also help Hakimi’s development, given the physical nature of the Premier League.
With due respect to the Bundesliga, the English top-flight is a much more demanding league, and the 21-year-old would surely benefit from playing for Manchester City.
How would Hakimi fit in at Manchester City?
Such is the talent of Achraf Hakimi that he can play on either side as a full-back. At Dortmund, he has often played as a wing-back and at times, Lucien Favre has used him as a midfielder as well.
Not only would the Morrocan add to the depth of the Manchester City squad, but he can also fill in at left-back, given the struggles of Benjamin Mendy and others.
The youngster, who has racked up a tally of 12 goals and 17 assists in his two seasons in the Bundesliga, would surely suit the attacking style of play that Pep Guardiola adores.
Hakimi is still very young, and he’s not at all a finished product by any means. Real Madrid could sell the full-back with a buy-back clause, which would allow him to mature further, under the watchful eyes of one of the best coaches in the world football, before returning to the Bernabeu.
On paper, Manchester City seem perfectly suited for a player of Achraf Hakimi’s talent, although it remains to be seen if the Sky Blues will actually make a move for the youngster if their two-year Champions League ban is upheld.
Either way, the Premier League club will have to fend off competition from the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Munich to get their hands on the Real Madrid gem. This could well prove to be one of the major talking points of the upcoming transfer window.
All stats courtesy: Transfermarkt.co.in