The Moroccan has insisted that he would have stayed with Los Blancos to fight for his position if the opportunity had been available
Achraf Hakimi has admitted that he would have liked to stay at Real Madrid, despite winning the 2020-21 Serie A title with Inter.
Hakimi completed a €40 million (£35m/$48m) move to Inter from Madrid last summer, bringing to an end his three-year stay at Santiago Bernabeu.
The Moroccan rose through the youth ranks before graduating to the Real senior squad in 2017, but was unable to kick on from there and earn a regular spot in Zinedine Zidane’s set up, with Dani Carvajal preferred in the right-back position.
What’s been said?
Hakimi had a loan spell at Borussia Dortmund before joining Inter, where he has taken his game to new heights under Antonio Conte while helping the club win their first Scudetto since 2009-10.
However, the 22-year-old has now revealed that it was never his decision to leave Madrid and says he requested to remain on their books and fight for his place before being offload to San Siro.
“I have to clarify,” the Inter star told El Chriniguito. “People are speaking saying that I didn’t want to compete for my position and it wasn’t like that.
“Everyone knows that Real Madrid was my home and that I would have liked to play there, but due to different circumstances I think the club decided otherwise.
“Everyone knows that I would have liked to have been there and won the position. People talk, but people don’t know the reality.
“That bothers me a little, that people think I was afraid of winning or fighting for the position. I was the first one who asked if I could be there to win the position, because I felt qualified for it.”
Hakimi’s record for Inter
Hakimi has been one of the first names on Conte’s teamsheet throughout his first season in Milan, featuring in 41 games across all competitions.
The ex-Madrid starlet has also scored seven goals, including one in the 2-0 win at Crotone on Saturday which – combined with Atalanta’s draw at Sassuolo – gave them an unassailable lead at the top of the Serie A standings with four games left to play.
The bigger picture
Hakimi signed a five-year deal upon his arrival at San Siro, but a return to Madrid could still be possible. It has been reported that a buy-back clause was included in that agreement which gives the Blancos first refusal on the defender if he ever leaves the Italian capital.
The Premier League has also been mooted as a possible next destination for Hakimi amid links with Arsenal, but he insisted that he is fully committed to Inter for the time being during an interview with La Repubblica last month.
“I hope to stay at this club for a long time, I’m very happy,” he said.