Premier League • England

Arsenal pushing hard for £51m midfield dynamo but siege Barcelona battle beckons

Xavi Simons Netherlands

Xavi Simons is a top target for Arsenal and Barcelona

Arsenal are reportedly pushing hard to secure a tremendous midfield acquisition this summer but are likely to have to do battle with Barcelona to get their man.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is refusing to rest on his laurels despite the club pushing Manchester City for the Premier League title in successive seasons, with a midfielder and at least one new striker both on his radar.

TEAMtalk have revealed the latest on the striker front, with Arsenal making their move for a top Bundesliga forward.

But in terms of adding another X-factor to his midfield, Arteta remains keen on trying to strike a deal for PSG star Xavi Simons.

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The French giants are considering cashing in on the 21-year-old, with Arsenal and Barcelona currently the frontrunners for his signature.

Simons actually came through Barca’s academy before moving to Paris in 2019 but was then sold by the Ligue 1 side to PSV three years later.

However, that deal included a buy-back clause and, after a stellar campaign in his homeland, the Holland international returned to PSG only to be loaned out to RB Leipzig for the current campaign.

Simons has once again shown his qualities in a tougher league environment by scoring seven times and laying on 11 assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances.

He also featured eight times in the Champions League, scoring twice and adding two more assists and is expected to play a major role for the Netherlands at this summer’s European Championships.

Simons could have gone some way to filling the void left by Kylian Mbappe’s imminent PSG exit, but the French outfit have decided to cash in instead – hence the interest from Arsenal. Barca and potentially Bayern Munich too.

Barcelona are known to have already sounded out a deal for their former academy starlet but they remain hamstrung by LaLiga’s strict financial fair play rules.

Indeed, any hope of the Catalan side signing the midfielder depends very much on players leaving the Nou Camp first.

Arsenal firmly in the running for Simons deal

That leaves Arsenal in a prime position to try and strike a deal of their own, with reports suggesting that PSG are willing to listen to offers of around €60million (£51.6m) for the player.

The Dutchman also wants his future resolved before the Euros starts and has already indicated that he’s not willing to accept another loan exit.

That would mean the Gunners needing to agree a deal by June 14 for a player Arteta is known to rate highly.

Simons has played predominantly as an attacking central midfielder for Leipzig this season although his versatility means he can also operate in both wide attacking positions.

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To that end, he would provide strong competition for the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Bukayo Saka out wide and also be a more than capable deputy for Martin Odegaard if he played centrally.

Arsenal finish off their Premier League campaign when they play host to Everton on Sunday.