Soccer

Chelsea willing to sell three defenders in bid to lure Achraf Hakimi to club

Chelsea hope to make Inter Milan defender Achraf Hakimi their first signing of a busy summer.

On Wednesday, the Blues signalled a willingness to match Paris St-Germain’s opening bid of £56.1m for the wing-back, who can play on the right or left.

And if they win the race to land him, misfit full backs Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso could both leave the club.

Centre back Fikayo Tomori is already on the verge of a £25m permanent move to AC Milan.

But it’s understood Chelsea are also willing to listen to offers for Tammy Abraham, Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi.

Andreas Christensen’s future is also in doubt as the Denmark defender is entering the final year of his contract and has yet to sign a new one.

But Chelsea have yet to make a decision on him, or Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has interest from new Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri.

Thomas Tuchel wants a major overhaul of his Champions League-winning squad and is still chasing a big-name striker.

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But the Blues are prepared to wait if they cannot bring in a marquee forward like Erling Haaland, Romelu Lukaku or Harry Kane this summer.

That is not the case for Moroccan star Hakimi with Chelsea sources confident they can win the race to sign the 22-year-old.

Inter value Hakimi at £68.8m but have a long-running interest in Emerson, who could be used as a makeweight.

Signing former Real Madrid player Hakimi would put pressure on England right back Reece James at Stamford Bridge.

But it would also allow skipper Cesar Azpilicueta to concentrate on playing as a third centre back.

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