Media Watch: Chelsea favourites to sign Hakimi, Henry in awe of Kante, Calvert-Lewin grateful for Chilwell’s England welcome

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, the Blues are reportedly leading the race to sign Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan, and Ben Chilwell is praised for his role integrating players into the England squad.

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

Chelsea favourites to sign Hakimi

According to The Times, Chelsea have moved ahead of Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan.

The report claims that the Italian club are willing to do a deal to sell the Moroccan international as they need to raise funds in this summer’s transfer market and reduce their wage bill, despite winning the Serie A title last season.

Hakimi played an important role as a wing-back in that triumph, but their financial situation means he could be on the move again just one year after moving to Italy from Real Madrid.

While it is believed Chelsea are yet to submit a bid for the player, Paris Saint-Germain’s offer fell significantly short of Inter’s asking price, leaving the door open for the Blues.

The report also states Thomas Tuchel is interested in signing Hakimi to increase competition at wing-back, meaning Reece James’ place in the squad is not in any threat.

Henry in awe of Kante talent

France and Premier League legend Thierry Henry has joined those expressing their admiration for N’Golo Kante amid rumours he could be in the running to win this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Speaking to Rio Ferdinand on his Five YouTube channel, Henry claimed Kante is able to read the game better than anyone else around.

‘He reads the game to be able to intercept the ball without fouling or tackling most of the time,’ said Henry. ‘He arrives at the same time as the ball, sometimes earlier.

‘The amount of times he turns a counter-attack for his opponent to a counter-attack for his team… You are building and suddenly he gets the ball and you’re in trouble. So many times!

‘So many times you see him getting the ball back and soon after it’s a goal for Chelsea. The capacity he has to read the game and see where the ball is going, sometimes he gets there before the ball!

‘It’s not guessing. When they say a striker smells the goal, it’s the same with Kante. He knows exactly where the ball is going and he can read the pass and the pattern of play.’

Calvert-Lewin grateful for Chilwell welcome

England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has told the Three Lions’ official YouTube channel about the big role Ben Chilwell played in helping him settle in at international level.

The Everton man is a relatively recent addition to Gareth Southgate’s squad, but when asked which of his club team-mates had helped him adapt to life in the England team, he instead highlighted the role played by Chilwell.

‘I’d probably say, he’s not an Everton player, but Chilly,’ said Calvert-Lewin. ‘I’ve known Chilly for years and we played together for England Under-21s.

‘I chat to him outside of football as well. It was like coming to see a mate, but at the same time we were representing England, so he made it easy for me to settle in.’

‘He is a great guy.’