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Media Watch: Blues linked with Moroccan wing-back, Mainz coach labels Tuchel a genius and Harder pushes for equality in facilities and opportunities

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, the Blues have been linked with Achraf Hakimi and Mainz coach Bo Svensson hails Thomas Tuchel’s ability to think outside the box.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Hakimi to make Premier League move

Inter Milan defender Achraf Hakimi could be set for a move to the Premier League in the summer.

The 22-year-old has thrived under former Blues manager Antonio Conte in Italy but due to financial problems, Inter might be forced to sell the Moroccan international at the end of the season.

According to The Athletic, the Italian side have failed to pay the first £9 million instalment of the £35 million fee to Real Madrid for Hakimi.

Hakimi is a Real Madrid academy graduate and was signed by Inter after showcasing his talent during a two-season loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.

The Blues and Arsenal are among the clubs who are interested in the 22-year-old. Both sides have been monitoring the Moroccan since his Real Madrid youth days.

Hakimi has made 20 appearances for Conte’s Inter, scoring six goals and grabbing five assists.

Mainz coach sees Tuchel as special

Mainz head coach Bo Svensson has applauded Thomas Tuchel for his creative ways of problem solving.

Speaking to DAZN and goal.com, Svensson played under Tuchel at Mainz and labelled him as a special coach.

‘You immediately noticed that he is a special coach and that he thinks a little differently,’ Svensson said. ‘I have never seen such an appearance in front of a team or such training in this form as a player.’

Tuchel has taken four points out of six so far in the Premier League and is already enforcing his philosophy at Stamford Bridge.

‘There were few games under Tuchel that we were surprised at,’ the Dane said. ‘We pressed against Bayern very early in Munich.’

One of the German’s first tactical tweaks at Stamford Bridge has been deploying Callum Hudson-Odoi as a wing-back. Svensson, who was a centre-back, also recalls the time he was played in the midfield.

‘I was very surprised. But it worked and we won.

‘I thought for a moment that he had lost his marbles when I saw that tactic.’

Harder on equality in the women’s game

Chelsea attacker Pernille Harder believes football facilities and opportunities for women should be on an equal playing field as the men’s game.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year said even though equal salaries could be difficult, the facilities and opportunities at the top level should be the same.

‘The question of equal pay and equal salaries, it will take a while, even if it will ever be the same,’ she said. ‘Men’s football is just on another level.

‘Girls have to fight to find places where they can get good training and get good coaches.’

Harder transferred for a world record fee in women’s football last year when she moved from Wolfsburg to Kingsmeadow. She also spoke about the training facilities at Cobham and how it compares to the men’s team.

‘It’s very professional at Chelsea and I think they try to copy how the men are doing it,’ she said.

‘The set-up is really good.’

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