According to transfer insider Dean Jones – who was speaking to GIVEMESPORT – it would prove to be an “unbelievable” coup if they could tempt the 23-year-old into making the move to Old Trafford, amid reports that they are ‘working on a deal’ to sign the Morocco international.
The reliable source stated: “Hakimi is firmly on the radar of Barcelona, and it is a result of that we will now see United, and Chelsea linked to him. There is no doubt this player wants to come to the Premier League at some stage and he would be an unbelievable signing if United could somehow pull it off.”
Reports this summer have suggested that United could potentially be in the market for a new right-sided defender, with £50m man Aaron Wan-Bissaka heavily linked with a return to his former club Crystal Palace.
Although potentially improbable, it would represent an almighty coup were the Premier League giants able to secure Hakimi’s signature before the September 1 deadline, with the former Real Madrid man set to be a notable upgrade on their current options.
Despite his relative youth, the £58.5m-rated ace has also ready racked up a wealth of elite-level experience in his career so far, turning out for the likes PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan after rising through academy ranks in the Spanish capital.
Having provided 29 goal contributions in 73 games during his loan spell in Germany, the 5 foot 11 ace’s subsequent move to the San Siro saw him thrive under Antonio Conte as they won the Serie A title in the 2020/21 season, when he provided seven goals and 11 assists in 45 games in all competitions for the Nerazzurri.
After just a solitary season at Inter, the highly-rated “baller” – as dubbed by CBS Sports’ Luis Miguel Echegaray – was plucked by his current club in a £60m deal last summer, going on to register six goals and seven assists for the Parisien outfit since then.
Having reverted to seemingly his preferred wing-back role under new PSG manager Christophe Galtier this season, the £236k-per-week sensation has been in inspired form in the early weeks of the Ligue 1 campaign, scoring two goals and registering one assist in just three league games so far.
Such end product is a far cry from the aforementioned Wan-Bissaka, with the 24-year-old having never truly justified his sizeable asking price during his three-year spell at the Theatre of Dreams, providing just two goals and ten assists in 127 games across all fronts.
While his famed tackling ability had earned him plaudits initially – with Jamie Carragher previously dubbing him the “best one-on-one defender for a full-back in the world” – the £90k-per-week Croydon native has struggled hugely in recent times, with journalist Andrew McDonnell labelling him a “liability” last season.
That is emphasised by the fact that he now only ranks in the top 30% for tackles made among those in his position across Europe’s big five leagues, while his potential replacement Hakimi ranks in the top 8%, while also offering great offensive thrust.
Equally, Wan-Bissaka’s much-maligned woes with ball at his feet saw him lose possession on average 14 times per league game last season, with the PSG man only squandering possession 8.9 times per game on average.
Such a slump has seen the former Eagles defender usurped by Diogo Dalot in the pecking order at Old Trafford and now staring at an exit from the club altogether, with his departure set to be hastened if Ten Hag can get Hakimi through the door over the next week or so.
It may prove interesting to see how the latter would perform in a flat back four rather than in a more advanced wing-back role, but even so, the evidence suggests that he would be a clear upgrade on the underwhelming Wan-Bissaka.