Arsenal are ready to step up their interest in Achraf Hakimi after Mikel Arteta gave the move the green light, according to reports.
The Gunners are keeping tabs on the Inter right-back as they seek a potential replacement for Hector Bellerin.
The Spain international could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium this summer, with PSG said to be interested.
Callum Chambers has started on the right-hand side of the defence in recent weeks, but Arsenal are likely to seek an upgrade at the end of the campaign.
Hakimi is among their list of targets, and Spanish outlet AS reports that Arteta has endorsed Arsenal’s push for the Morocco international.
Hakimi only joined Inter last summer, as the Italian side signed him from Real Madrid in a deal worth £36.3m.
However, Antonio Conte’s side are willing to listen to offers for the 22-year-old as they seek to raise funds amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Inter are holding out for £42.7m, and it remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal will be able to stump up that sort of cash.
But the report states that the Gunners are now working on a “firm offer” that could be submitted at the end of the season.
Real Madrid have first refusal on Hakimi but are not expected to bring him back to the Spanish capital.
That could open the door to Arsenal, but the north London side are bound to face competition for the youngster’s signature.
Their interest could also depend on their pursuit of European football, with the Gunners currently down in 10th in the Premier League table.
Arteta’s side may yet qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League, which would no doubt boost their chances of attracting players of Hakimi’s calibre in the summer.
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