According to reports, Manchester United were in “pole position” to sign Netherlands international Xavi Simons before he returned to Paris Saint-Germain.
The 20-year-old caught the attention of clubs around Europe last season while he was playing in the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven.
Simons grabbed 19 goals and eight assists in his 34 appearances in the league and he was linked with clubs around Europe before this season, with Arsenal reportedly among his admirers.
The attacker left PSG to join the Dutch side last year but they benefitted from inserting a buy-back clause in this deal and Simons was bought back for just six million euros earlier this summer.
Simons has since been loaned out to Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig. He’s enjoyed a ludicrous start to this term as he has seven goal involvements in his first four league outings for the German side.
PSG only had a small window to activate this buy-back clause and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Man Utd were in the running to sign Simons prior to his return to the French giants.
Romano is of the belief that Erik ten Hag was “really keen” to sign Simons.
“In the summer Man Utd considered Xavi Simons as an option,” Romano revealed via his YouTube channel.
“They had some calls, Erik ten Hag was really keen to bring Simons to Man Utd. But PSG triggered the buy-back clause they had with PSV Eindhoven. Six million euros… incredible.
“They then decided against selling the player, but decided to loan him to Leipzig.
“But in case the player wanted to stay at PSV and decide against returning to PSG, Man Utd were in pole position to bring Simons to Old Trafford.”
Earlier this year, Dutch legend Rafael van der Vaart heaped praise on Simons.
“Very few players can do this: in such a small space: accept, turn and shoot the ball on the bar,” Van der Vaart said.
“I look at the potential. How good can someone become in the future? With Xavi Simons, everything that makes me very happy.”
When asked whether Simons could eventually be world-class, Van der Vaart added, “Absolutely. There are always smarties walking around who say: yes, nice against RKC, but he didn’t show it against Sevilla.
“Believe me, in a few years we will all say: ‘how nice that we can use this boy for the Dutch national team’.”