EXCLUSIVE: Rangers open talks over shock deal for prized PSG talent

Mauro Icardi and Xavi Simons celebrate for PSG

Rangers are ready to offer Paris Saint-Germain starlet Xavi Simons a route out of the French capital, TEAMtalk understands.

PSG are currently in talks with Simons and his representatives – which includes famed agent Mino Raiola – about his future. The 18-year-old’s current deal expires in the summer and his career is now at a serious crossroads.

Despite a big reputation the Dutch youngster is finding it hard to gain first-team football. Indeed, he’s featured just a couple of times for Mauricio Pochettino’s men so far in his fledgling career.

Amsterdam-born Simons was part of Barcelona’s academy until he was 16 before moving to PSG in 2019.

However, his contract expires on July 1 and talks over an extension remain ongoing.

PSG are open to letting him leave on loan in January, but obviously they will only agree to that if a new contract is signed first.

Van Bronckhorst looking to Xavi Simons

And TEAMtalk now understands that one of the clubs keen on him are Scottish champions Rangers.

They are now managed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who is well aware of Simons through his Netherlands connections.

Simons is a Dutch youth international, having played with them from schoolboy to U19s level. And Van Bronckhorst is keen to take him on in January – if the opportunity arises.

Simons also has admirers in the form of Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola reportedly a huge fan.

But a move to the Etihad would present similar issues for Simons, who simply wants to play football.

Defoe removed from Rangers coaching staff

The departure of Steven Gerrard to Aston Villa, meanwhile, appears to have done Jermain Defoe few favours in his bid to step up his coaching career.

The veteran striker was made a member of Gerrard’s backroom team at Ibrox. But the departure of Gerrard and subsequent appointment of Van Bronckhorst has seen Defoe’s responsibilities revoked.

“He’s been really good,” said van Bronckhorst. “When I came here, of course, he was part of the coaching staff but also a player.

“He’s also busy with his training badges, which is really good. We’ve already started thinking about team processes and tactical possibilities.

“But for now, Jermain is still a player and we’ll use him only as a player. The quality that he has is sometimes needed in games. He can still have an important role this season.”

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