Arsenal in the battle to sign 22-year-old Morocco international

Ex-Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna admits he’s been shocked by the rise of Gunners target Achraf Hakimi. The 22-year-old right-back is a reported target for the Spanish manager, with the London giants looking to capitalize on Inter Milan’s need to balance the books.

Achraf joined the Nerazzurri from Real Madrid last summer but Inter are struggling to keep up the payments on his £36m move to Italy. Hakimi has scored six goals and provided five assists in a fantastic debut season at the San Siro and he’s been linked with replacing Hector Bellerin at Arsenal, with PSG keen on Spain international.

‘I am sure they are assessing the situation quite well and they already have someone in mind if Bellerin leaves,’ Sagna said. ‘Hakimi is never tired, he’s always going forward. He’s so fast. I was surprised when I saw him playing for Madrid because for me he was not that good.’

‘You could see the potential, but I never expected him to do as well as he is doing now.’ Mikel Arteta is ready to be handed a modest budget this summer, particularly if Gunners fail to win the UEL and therefore miss out on the UCL qualification. It means Mikel Arteta will once again be tasked with balance incomings with outgoings.

With Morocco international likely to cost in the region of £45-£50m, Hector Bellerin would be sold to make way for the African defender. PSG were keen on signing Spain international last summer, with a fee of around £25m touted.