‘Hakimi’s dream is to play for Real Madrid again’ – Ex-Inter boss Conte sees ‘world class’ potential in PSG star

A man who worked with the Morocco international defender at San Siro believes his career path will lead back to Santiago Bernabeu

Achraf Hakimi’s dream is to play for Real Madrid again claims Antonio Conte, who worked with the Paris Saint-Germain right-back at Inter.

The Morocco international ended up at San Siro after being allowed to leave Santiago Bernabeu, initially on loan to Borussia Dortmund and then in a permanent deal to the reigning Serie A champions.

Madrid native Hakimi made just 17 competitive appearances for the Blancos, but his stock has soared elsewhere and Conte expects a homecoming at some stage.

What has been said?

Having seen Hakimi star for his title-winning Inter side last season, earning a €60 million (£52m/$71m) move to PSG in the process, Conte told Sky Sport Italia: “His dream is to play for Real Madrid again as a key player.”

Why is Hakimi in demand?

Hakimi caught the eye during a two-year loan at Dortmund, with his exploits convincing Inter to make a move.

Not everything ran smoothly for him in Italy, with Conte saying the 22-year-old only burst into life after a tough Champions League evening against Madrid that saw him net an own goal in a 2-0 group stage defeat.

“Psychologically, Hakimi suffered a little bit from last year’s games,” Conte added. “I remember those two games very well. From that point on, he worked a lot and I saw a young player who wanted to learn how to [improve].

“He understood that what he was doing attacking-wise was not enough; now he is among the best in the world. If he keeps working on his final ball, he can be world class.”

Who has replaced Hakimi?

Denzel Dumfries Inter Genoa Serie A

Inter snapped up Netherlands international Denzel Dumfries over the summer after seeing him impress at Euro 2020, and Conte believes the 25-year-old will prove to be a quality replacement in Milan.

He said: “They have signed a great player to replace Hakimi. If he can work his way into the team, he can be a great replacement for him.”

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