Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Arsenal were looking to sign a Bundesliga centre-back before switching their focus to Jurrien Timber instead.
The Ajax star is closing in on a switch to The Emirates, with the formalities of the deal almost done as he prepares to make an initial £36million move to north London.
Timber’s brother, Shamier, posted an image on his Instagram stories on Sunday evening showing a farewell party celebrating the big-money transfer.
An image of Timber in an Arsenal kit was knocked up on a giant banner surrounded by balloons, alongside a message reading: ‘Jurrien’s goodbye party! See you in the streets of London.’
However, things could have been very different, with Romano revealing that the Gunners were after RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakan earlier this summer.
Romano made his claim in his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, although it now appears highly unlikely that the player will leave.
Leipzig do not need to sell, having offloaded Dominik Szoboszlai to Liverpool for a deal that could end up pocketing them £60m.
Arsenal pick Timber over Simakan
And, speaking about Simakan, Romano said: “Mohamed Simakan – As previously reported, he was one of the names on Arsenal’s list in defence this summer. But Arsenal instead ended up signing Jurrien Timber so I think they’re fine with him, I don’t see another movement in that position honestly.
“The situation for Simakan is now quiet and also, Leipzig already made big money with the sale of Dominik Szoboszlai.”
Simakan staying put is perhaps no surprise, given that Josko Gvardiol is poised to join Premier League champions Manchester City.
The Croatian, who is regarded by many pundits and experts alike as the world’s top centre-back, has already held talks with City over a potential £86m move to The Etihad.
As for the Gunners, they expect to announce the capture of impressive Ajax star Timber early this week.