The Morocco international had spent two campaigns on loan at Borussia Dortmund, but after they failed to match the Italian side’s financial package, he ultimately moved to the Serie A side for €40 million (£36m/$45m).
Martin Camano, the player’s agent, has explained why the right-back was on the move, hinting that three-time Champions League-winning boss Zidane was the catalyst.
Speaking to Al Mountakhab, he said: “Zidane is the reason for Hakimi’s transfer to Inter Milan. He must explain why Hakimi moved.”
But while the Frenchman was a driving force out of Madrid, counterpart Antonio Conte, who has enjoyed success with Juventus and Chelsea, is one of the attractive factors in Inter’s favour.
“He was always in contact with Hakimi,” the representative said. “He talked to him about the club’s future project, so we decided to move to Inter.
“I believe that when a high-value coach like Conte calls you and strongly insists on contacting you, this is evidence that he wants you to become an important piece in his project. His team represents him.”
The presence of Spain international Dani Carvajal holding down a coveted position at Santiago Bernabeu is one of the reasons that a deal was made.
“I think that Hakimi’s return at the current time is not appropriate given the presence of a distinguished player like Carvajal and I’m sure that Hakimi’s future will be bright after taking this step forward,” Camano continued.
The 21-year-old has spent the last year distinguishing himself with Borussia Dortmund, with whom he featured on 33 occasions as they finished second in the Bundesliga. Featuring primarily on the right of midfield, he scored five goals and laid on another 10.
Hakimi had been on the books of Madrid since 2006 and signed professional terms in 2016, debuting for the first team a year later and featuring on 17 occasions for Zidane’s side in all competitions, scoring a couple of goals in the process.
He will have to wait until the beginning of the 2020-21 season before making his debut for Inter.