‘100 per cent’ – Arsenal still in the race for 19-goal midfielder despite ‘imminent’ PSG transfer

Harry Watkinson
Arsenal linked PSV Eindhoven midfielder Xavi Simons
Arsenal linked PSV Eindhoven midfielder Xavi Simons

Arsenal are reportedly still pursuing a move for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Xavi Simons, despite him being on the verge of re-joining former club Paris Saint-Germain.

Mikel Arteta is thought to be an admirer of the 20-year-old and is looking to bring in another midfielder after Declan Rice’s arrival at the Emirates was confirmed on Saturday.

Simons has impressed for PSV and is touted to become a superstar in the future, so it would be a big statement if Arsenal get a deal done.

Last season, Simons made 34 league appearances for the Dutch club. In the process, he scored 19 goals and made nine assists. This gives him an impressive average of 0.82 goal contributions per game.

A versatile player, Simons has the ability to play as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder or as a winger on either flank. His performances have caught the attention of several top European clubs, including Arsenal.

PSG included a buyback clause in the deal which saw them sell Simons to PSV last year. That clause was set at just over £5m and became active this summer.

Transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that PSG intends to trigger that buy-back clause. But he could still move elsewhere.

Romano added that the dynamic attacker will ‘100 per cent’ go out on loan next season if both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar stay at PSG this summer.

Mbappe is in the final year of his contract at the Parc des Princes and reportedly doesn’t want to sign an extension. The France international has said he will remain at PSG for another season, however.

Neymar, on the other hand, has been heavily linked with leaving the French club for the past few weeks. Chelsea has emerged as a potential destination for him, but PSG are yet to make a final decision on his future.

If both players remain at PSG, Arsenal have a good chance of signing Simons on loan this summer.

As mentioned, Arteta is on the hunt for another midfielder, as he looks to bring in a replacement for departure-bound Thomas Partey.

Simons is a much more attacking option than other targets Arsenal are looking at, like Southampton defensive midfielder Romeo Lavia for example.

But, given Arsenal’s long standing interest in Simons, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them make a move for him. Having already spent over £200m on new signings this summer, being able to bring in a player on loan may suit the Gunners.

Loan moves have worked very well for Arteta in the past. In January 2021, he signed Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid on a six-month loan.

Odegaard returned to Real at the end of the season but after realising his game time would be limited, he decided he wanted to leave. His positive experience at the Emirates meant Arsenal were at the front of the queue for his signature.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal take a similar approach with Simons and move to sign him on loan this summer.

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