Rafa Benitez is trying to do a deal with former club Real Madrid to bring in highly-rated right-back Achraf Hakimi on loan this month according to HITC.
The 19-year-old right-back is seen as one of Madrid’s brightest talents and has made 11 appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s side this season – with one of those coming in their Champions League encounter with Spurs.
The story states that he has already caught the eye of Real Betis and Sporting Lisbon, however a loan move could be on the cards to further his development.
It does seem strange that Benitez would want a right-back. Yedlin and Manquillo are two options of our down that side, so it seems as though as left-back would be higher up on his priority list? Hakimi can operate down both flanks by all accounts, but we’ve had our fair share of players not playing in their natural position so I imagine Rafa would like to see balance (not square pegs in round holes).
Whether this link is true is open for debate (like any new transfer rumour), however you can be that Rafa will be using his contacts from former clubs in order to pull off potential deals this month.
Here’s an interesting comments from the Chronicle on the rumour:
“What we can say for certain, however, is that in the summer Benitez did use his contacts in Spain to notify both Real and Barcelona that he needed players and told them if either had young players available for loan he’d be interested.”
‘It is likely the same will be the case in January too.
“With a limited budget, Benitez knows if he’s to strengthen this month then loans could be his easiest option. But he can only sign two players on loan from English sides and therefore he will be casting his net further to add more this month. It is believed he wants up to four new arrivals.”
Here’s Hakimi in action: