Fabrizio Romano confirmed Manchester United were in “pole position” for the summer signing of a forward who’s returned seven goals and assists combined in his first four matches this season – and it’s not Harry Kane.
The Red Devils sought new firepower over the summer and after being priced out of signing Harry Kane, landed on Rasmus Hojlund.
The Danish centre-half has looked a handful in the early going, though whether he’ll produce the types of numbers United need remains to be seen.
Erik ten Hag is now facing an issue in another position in his forward line. Indeed, the twin absences of Antony and Jadon Sancho have left the Dutchman short on impactful options for the right wing berth.
Ironically enough, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has revealed Man Utd were “big favourites” to sign a livewire forward who can’t stop scoring and assisting from the right wing.
Via his YouTube channel, Romano reported Man Utd were the leading contender to snap up Netherlands international Xavi Simons had he stayed at PSV Eindhoven.
Simons, 20, enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Dutch powerhouse last term when bagging 22 goals in all competitions.
His former club PSG activated a remarkably modest buy-back clause worth just €6m over the summer, though Simons had the final say on whether to return to Paris.
After careful consideration, Simons elected to re-join PSG before quickly accepting a loan switch to RB Leipzig. Operating exclusively on the right wing, Simons has notched three goals and four assists in Leipzig’s opening four Bundesliga encounters.
But per Romano, Simons could’ve been making that level of impact at Old Trafford had he refused to return to PSG.
Ten Hag thwarted
Explaining the situation and detailing United’s close call, Romano revealed: “In the summer Man Utd considered Xavi Simons as an option.
“They had some calls, Erik ten Hag was really keen to bring Simons to Man Utd. But PSG triggered the buy-back clause they had with PSV Eindhoven. Six million euros… incredible.
“They then decided against selling the player, but decided to loan him to Leipzig.
“But in case the player wanted to stay at PSV and decide against returning to PSG, Man Utd were in pole position to bring Simons to Old Trafford.”
Romano went on to described United as the “big favourites” to complete a coup had Simons elected to either stay at PSV or join a new club outright.
However, Simons would ultimately fall in line with PSG’s project and agreed to return to Paris before accepting a loan to Leipzig.
It’s not inconceivable United reignite their interest in Simons down the road. However, his price tag will only soar if he continues to impress at Leipzig and PSG will be a more difficult and costlier club to buy from than PSV Eindhoven.