Man Utd make serious enquiry for Varane successor as second source confirms Arsenal pursuit
Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race to sign French defender Mohamed Simakan from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, according to an update.
Simakan was recently revealed to be an Arsenal target by The Guardian. By joining the Gunners, he could team up with his compatriot William Saliba in defence. Now, confirmation of Arsenal’s interest has arrived from a second source – which has also put Man Utd in contention to sign him.
According to Foot Mercato reporter Santi Aouna, writing in collaboration with his colleague Sebastien Denis, both Man Utd and Arsenal have made enquiries about signing Simakan. Further interest from English clubs is expected ahead of the summer transfer window.
Simakan only extended his contract with RB Leipzig in December, keeping him at the club until 2027. However, the German club could still cash in on him at the next opportunity.
This season, Simakan has split his gametime fairly equally between playing in a right-back role and at centre-back. Those are both positions that Man Utd have been thinking about reinforcing.
At centre-back, they might need to replace Harry Maguire if the club captain leaves. It would also be beneficial to find a long-term successor to Raphael Varane, who has encountered some injury issues in his twilight years.
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Coincidentally, Simakan began his senior career at Strasbourg, where one trainer, Francois Keller, previously compared his athletic qualities to Varane’s own.
Therefore, Simakan might be what Man Utd are looking for. The question is whether or not they will be able to beat Arsenal to his signature.
Arsenal against Man Utd for Simakan transfer
The Guardian‘s recent reveal about Arsenal targeting Simakan suggested their interest in a move for the 23-year-old is substantial.
Arsenal will definitely have Champions League football on offer next season, whereas for Man Utd – who went into Saturday’s clash against Wolves in fourth place – it is still all to play for. Either club could be an attractive destination for Simakan, whose transfer value is not yet clear, since neither the Guardian nor Aouna have been able to uncover it yet.
Meanwhile, Aouna has added that Man Utd are still in talks with Napoli defender Kim Min-jae about their project. Due to a release clause in his contract, Kim could be easier to sign – though perhaps still more expensive – if the Red Devils can take advantage of a window of opportunity in the summer.
Just like with Simakan, though, there will be widespread interest from other clubs in Kim as well.
Interestingly, reports elsewhere have revealed that any Man Utd move for Kim may actually be part of a double bid including one of his midfield teammates.
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