Former Real Madrid defender Achraf Hakimi has denied Zinedine Zidane forced him out of the club in 2020.
Hakimi was tipped for a starring role back at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, at the start of the 2020/21 campaign, after an impressive two year loan at Borussia Dortmund.
However, the Moroccan international opted against signing a contract extension on his return to Madrid, before joining Serie A giants Inter Milan in July 2020.
The 22-year-old was rumoured to be unsatisfied by Zidane’s guarantees of a first team role and instead chose to move to the San Siro, but Hakimi has claimed that speculation is untrue.
“(My first call with Zidane) I was with friends, sitting outside my house, the phone rings, and it’s Zidane!”, he told an interview with L’Equipe, as per reports from Marca.
“He tells me I’m going to play and I did not expect to stay that.
“What happened in 2020 has nothing to do with him.
“There were other aspects linked in particular to Covid-19 and Real Madrid that made me leave.
“At that time I had a conversation with him but that will remain between us. He thought differently about me leaving.”
Hakimi enjoying a starring role in Inter’s march to the 2020/21 league title with seven goals from 37 appearances in his debut campaign.
However, after Inter accepted a €60m summer offer from Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, he joined the Parisians superstar squad alongside Lionel Messi ahead of 2021/22.