Premier League • England

Arsenal transfers: Exciting attacker raid explodes into life but Edu warned deal will cost more than Liverpool newcomer

Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons

Several sources are reporting that Arsenal are serious contenders to sign Xavi Simons from PSV Eindhoven this summer after an impressive season in the Eredivisie.

Only Anastasios Douvikas scored more goals than Simons in the 2022-23 Eredivisie, while when taking assists into account as well, only Dusan Tadic registered more goal contributions. In short, it was a breakout year for a player whose potential has been clear for a while.

Simons previously spent time in the Barcelona academy before leaving for PSG, where he only made 11 senior appearances. PSV took him back to his native Netherlands last June and he has flourished since.

PSG have the option to buy Simons back this summer for €12m. Otherwise, PSV will be able to invite offers from other clubs.

According to Eindhovens Dagblad, PSV believe Simons is worth more than the €50m record sum they received from Liverpool for Cody Gakpo back in January.

They are bracing themselves for interest in the attacking midfielder this summer. Both Eindhovens Dagblad and Voetbal International have named Arsenal as suitors for Simons.

There is a feeling they would be able to afford PSV’s demands for Simons. Therefore, they could be in a good position to sign him unless he wants to return to Paris.

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Arsenal target seeks double assurance

Per Voetbal International, Simons is waiting for two factors to become clearer before he makes his decision.

First of all, he wants to play in the Champions League next season. Arsenal have qualified for the group stage, so they would meet that criterion. However, PSV will have to navigate the qualifying rounds.

Should they get through them, Simons may well enter a second season with PSV, but if not, he might be on the move.

Furthermore, he wants some clarity about who will be coaching him next season. Simons has distanced himself from suggestions he wasn’t happy with Ruud van Nistelrooy and will wait to find out who the former striker’s replacement on the touchline will be.

If it comes to a departure, then Arsenal might have inadvertently secured themselves an advantage.

Indeed, Simons is now represented by Darren Dein, whose father David previously co-owned Arsenal and was vice-president there.

It is a small but telling connection that could play into Arsenal’s hands, even though David Dein left Arsenal 15 years ago.

Arsenal will be hoping for any boost they can get when it comes to a battle for a coveted player like Simons. This season, he has scored 22 goals from 48 games and provided 12 assists.

His appearances have either come as a left winger, central attacking midfielder, right winger or even as a striker. He is perhaps most effective through the middle but in behind a main striker, since that is where half of his goals have come from.

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