Chelsea have reportedly opened talks with Real Madrid about a potential summer move for Moroccan international Achraf Hakimi.
The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
According to a report from the Mirror, his loan deal with Dortmund does not involve an option for a permanent move and it has prompted interest from a number of clubs, including Chelsea.
The report claims Chelsea have contacted Madrid but were told to wait until the end of the season before Zinedine Zidane makes a final decision.
Hakimi’s representatives reportedly met Real higher-ups last month and made it clear that the defender would only return to Santiago Bernabeu if there was a guarantee that he would get regular playing time.
He predominantly plays as a right-back and Zidane currently has Daniel Carvajal at his disposal.
He is under contract with Real Madrid until June 2022 and it is claimed Hakimi has a release clause worth around £50m.
What would Hakimi’s signing mean for Reece James?
But this would be a big dilemma for Chelsea fans.
On one hand, Hakimi is a promising prospect and would be a massive boost for Lampard next season. On the other, the Chelsea boss also has a promising young right-back in Reece James.
James has played second-fiddle to club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and next season is supposed to be his breakout campaign.
Hakimi has been deployed on the left side of the pitch twice this season, but his best displays came from the right, just like James.
The Real Madrid loanee’s goal involvement this season has been comparable to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is widely regarded as the best right-back in the Premier League.
Hakimi has bagged three goals and 10 assists, while Alexander-Arnold has two goals and 12 assists. James has just two assists to his name in the Premier League, although the 20-year-old has only started 11 league games.
Should Chelsea bring Hakimi to Stamford Bridge this summer, it could lead to a Chelsea exit for James.