Dortmund accept defeat over Hakimi as Inter move seemingly edges closer

By Sports Desk June 27, 2020

Borussia Dortmund will not be making Achraf Hakimi's loan move from Real Madrid permanent after Los Blancos' asking price was increased, seemingly allowing Inter a free run at the Moroccan.

Hakimi has spent two seasons at Signal Iduna Park and enjoyed a particularly good campaign in 2019-20, scoring five times and setting up another 10 Bundesliga goals prior to Saturday's clash with Hoffenheim.

That contest now seems to be Hakimi's final opportunity to pull on the Dortmund jersey should he be introduced from the bench in the club's last game of the season.

Media reports linking Hakimi with Inter have intensified this week, with the Serie A club rumoured to be closing in on a deal with Madrid worth an initial €40million.

Dortmund have not been shy in declaring their desire to see Hakimi remain at the club, but the writing appeared to be on the wall when they confirmed the capture of Thomas Meunier on Thursday, and now sporting director Michael Zorc seems to have accepted defeat.

"There have been developments only this week," Zorc told Sky Deutschland.

"The price is much higher now, and there is point where we have to say 'we do not want this and we cannot do this'."

Hakimi, 21, could yet return to Madrid and challenge Dani Carvajal for a place at right-back.

However, his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu expires next year and that could lead to the possibility of losing him on a free transfer if he was to grow frustrated at not being first-choice in Madrid.

Similarly, Hakimi has thrived as a wing-back ahead of a back-three this term. While that is not a setup Madrid are known to adopt, Inter coach Antonio Conte does.

Related items

  • Real Madrid 2-0 Deportivo Alaves: Zidane's men on brink of title glory Real Madrid 2-0 Deportivo Alaves: Zidane's men on brink of title glory

    Real Madrid moved a significant step nearer to a 34th LaLiga title as Karim Benzema set them on the way to a 2-0 win over Deportivo Alaves.

    The gap to Barcelona in second place is back to four points, and it would take a mighty collapse from this position for the teams to swap positions.

    Marco Asensio grabbed Madrid's second goal after Benzema's early penalty, and Zinedine Zidane's side could have stretched their lead as a string of chances came their way.

    But lowly Alaves contributed plenty to an entertaining game, enough to suggest they can survive in the top flight under their new coach Juan Muniz.

  • This chance is not coming back - Guardiola issues Champions League rallying call to City This chance is not coming back - Guardiola issues Champions League rallying call to City

    Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to fight for the Champions League "until the last effort they have in their bodies" after Friday's draw mapped out a devilishly tough route to glory.

    The deposed Premier League champions hold a 2-1 last-16 advantage over Real Madrid ahead of the August 7 return at the Etihad Stadium.

    The winners of that tie will take on the victors of Lyon versus Juventus – the Ligue 1 outfit 1-0 to the good at the midway point – at UEFA's mini-tournament to decide the coronavirus-impacted Champions League in Lisbon on August 15.

    Whichever team progresses from that quarter-final will meet the team remaining from Barcelona or Napoli and Bayern Munich or Chelsea.

    "All of us want to try, to be ourselves in the game against Real Madrid, to try to defend really well and suffer the bad moments," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

    "Try to impose our game and our football, try to score our goals and defend the game against Real Madrid. It is incredible what [Madrid] have done in this competition, nobody has done it."

    If City finally claim the prize Madrid have lifted on a record 13 occasions, they will do so in unique circumstances heightened by the reality of a trying season on and off the field.

    Guardiola's team could be facing up to their final European game for two years next month, if the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides to uphold a two-season ban for contravening UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules. A verdict in the case is due on Monday.

    The Champions League, along with the FA Cup, offers the chance to triumphantly salvage a campaign where they meekly surrendered the Premier League title to Liverpool.

    This crescendo of events is something Guardiola believes has got through to his players.

    "I feel the motivation," he said. "I have the feeling from my players and the club that we have, in the next four weeks, something that is not coming back again.

    "Of course, we have the chance to fight but the situation that we have is not coming back again.

    "I think the big clubs don't miss these chances to try until the last effort they have in their bodies."

    The situation will certainly not come back for club great David Silva.

    City's veteran playmaker is set to leave at the end of his contract and, as a World Cup and two-time European Championship winner with Spain, he is seeking the biggest honour to have eluded him over the course of a decorated career.

    "David has won everything," Guardiola said. "The World Cup, European Championships with Spain, the Premier League and all the titles you can achieve except the Champions League.

    "All of the players want to try but the younger ones, maybe they think they have more chances.

    "Maybe David might go back to Europe with another top club and have another chance. But I'm pretty sure after one decade in this club, he will try."

    With a top-four place in the Premier League now guaranteed – whatever that comes to mean – Guardiola's main challenge for the rest of the campaign is getting Silva and the rest to next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal and the Madrid match in prime condition.

    He concedes this is a balancing act but will not shirk from giving Premier League minutes to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, even if sight of the star midfielder receiving a heavy knock during the closing stages of Wednesday's 5-0 win over Newcastle United caused understandable disquiet among the City faithful.

    "That's part of football. The important thing is they are fit," he added.

    "We cannot say one or two games, don't play and then come back. Sometimes the players who play regularly are in better condition for the important games.

    "Arsenal is an important point but it's important to keep momentum and rhythm to the way we play."

  • Marcelo suffers adductor injury amid reports his LaLiga season is over Marcelo suffers adductor injury amid reports his LaLiga season is over

    Real Madrid could be without Marcelo for the rest of their LaLiga campaign after suffering an adductor injury.

    The experienced left-back sustained the problem during the 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, a game in which he won the penalty that resulted in the decisive goal.

    LaLiga leaders Madrid announced in the lead up to Friday's clash with Deportivo Alaves that the Brazilian's injury had been diagnosed as a problem in his left adductor muscle.

    While the club refused to put a timeframe on his recovery, media reports suggest they do not expect him to be available for their three remaining league games after the visit of Alaves.

    Zinedine Zidane will be without Marcelo for trips to Granada and Leganes either side of a home match against in-form Villarreal.

    He is not thought to be a major doubt for the Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on August 7, however.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.