Manchester City are ready to rival Barcelona for the signature of Paris Saint-Germain youngster Xavi Simons, according to reports in Spain.
Simons came through the youth ranks at Barcelona before making the switch to PSG in 2019. However, since then, the teenager has only played twice at senior level. One of those appearances came in Ligue 1 and the other in the Coupe De France.
Now, the attacking midfielder has a decision to make about his next step. His contract in Paris expires at the end of the season.
A return to Barcelona has been speculated and is said to be of interest to Simons. It is not yet clear, though, how much Barca would be willing to welcome him back.
Even if they do want him to return, though, they will not have a clear run at his signing. According to Fichajes, Man City may make their own move to snap up the 18-year-old.
Pep Guardiola is reportedly “in love” with the way Simons plays. The Dutchman is seen as someone who could earn the City boss’ trust and fit into his tactics.
Therefore, City are keeping tabs on him and are willing to wait until he becomes a free agent in the summer before making their offer.
Of course, that could be a risky strategy given that Simons would be free to pick whoever makes him an offer. But City would fancy their chances of winning the battle for his signature.
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One thing is clear is that Simons is unlikely to renew his contract with PSG. He would want guarantees over gametime, which Mauricio Pochettino is unable to give at present.
Indeed, Fichajes point to PSG’s focus on trying to win the Champions League as a reason why they are overlooking some young talent like Simons in favour of star names.
Feeling he may get left behind and eager to kick on with his progress, Simons is seeking a solution. If he waits until the summer, City may be able to provide it.
Alternatively, he may be able to return to Barcelona, aware that they are looking for cheaper opportunities to strengthen their squad during a difficult financial period.
Young players may have to step up at Camp Nou and Simons could fit within their new policy. But City now pose a threat to their chances of signing him.
Simons is ambitious and wants to be playing for an elite club. Despite his struggles to break through in Paris, it seems there are a couple willing to give him a chance.
Problem between Man City and Barcelona
This is not the only instance recently of a potential clash between City and Barcelona over a player.
Raheem Sterling is reportedly a major target for Barca, but reports have revealed their difficulties coming to an agreement with City.
With finances still extremely tight at the Nou Camp, Sport claim they have only one way of financing a deal. To that end, they state they can only offer Sterling a six-month loan move to Catalonia.
And due to their perilous financial situation, they would be unable to commit to the ‘obligation to buy’ deal City are seeking.
Sport write: ‘Barca are only willing to negotiate a transfer with a on-mandatory purchase option until June. Depending on the performance of the footballer, the club could exercise this option that would be above 50million euros.’
As stated, they would look to include an ‘option to buy’ clause in the deal. However, as noted, they report that City are unlikely to agree to that. With his contract up in summer 2023, City want certain guarantees over his exit to ensure they are not left out of pocket.
As it stands, Sterling will have just 18 months left on his deal by the time January rolls around. And with talks over a new deal seemingly at a halt, City will reportedly listen to offers.
But Barcelona may not be able to give them what they want, causing a stalemate for Sterling.