Arsenal ‘plan B’ revealed amid Timber blow as ‘seduced’ Arteta is told Man City star is ‘100% leaving’

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal target Simakan
Mohamed Simakan is wanted by Arsenal.

RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakan is reportedly back on Arsenal’s radar after confirming that Jurrien Timber has suffered a serious injury.

The Gunners have spent over £200m on new signings this summer as they have acquired Timber, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and David Raya.

Arsenal started the 2023/24 campaign with a win over Nottingham Forest but they were dealt a significant blow in that game as Timber suffered a serious injury.

The Dutchman is set for surgery and will miss most of the 23/24 season so they may now enter the market in an attempt to sign a new defender.

They were linked with Simakan earlier this summer as they (and Man Utd) were ‘seduced’ by the Bundesliga defender. 

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Arsenal will ‘explore the market for defenders’ over the next couple of weeks.

‘As previously reported, Arsenal will explore the market for defenders after the serious and lengthy injury to Jurrien Timber. They will decide how to act soon, despite plenty of speculation emerging already about potential targets,’ Romano wrote for Caught Offside.

‘RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakan has always been on Arsenal’s list, he was plan B earlier this summer in case Timber didn’t end up joining. At the moment, however, Arsenal have not reactivated contacts to sign him, let’s see if that happens or not.

‘Cancelo has been mentioned again as well, but as stated above, he is in advanced talks over joining Barcelona.’

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Arsenal have also been heavily linked with Manchester City outcast Joao Cancelo.

Up until last season, the Portugal international had been an important player for the Premier League champions but he slipped down the pecking order in 2022/23 after he butted heads with Pep Guardiola.

Cancelo ended last season on loan at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and while he returned to Man City for pre-season, but Romano is reporting that he ‘will be leaving’ before the summer transfer window.

‘Joao Cancelo, however, will be leaving City 100%. Conversations are ongoing with Barcelona and advancing very well to crucial stages,’ Romano added.

‘It’s not a done deal yet but it’s progressing well and the two clubs have a good relationship, so it looks like it will be a loan deal with a buy option, with some details still to be discussed.’

Arsenal have reportedly gone back in for Cancelo – who is also wanted by FC Barcelona – following Timber’s injury and head coach Mikel Arteta told reporters on Thursday morning they they are “open to reacting if something happens”.

“We have to assess now — as we are always open to reacting if something happens,” Arteta told reporters.

“This is not only with injuries but the market as well. That’s why we sign Raya, we need two top players per position”.

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