Arsenal have cooled their interest in RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakan, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
The Gunners were very keen on signing the former France Under 21 international earlier in the summer but Romano says that the club’s decision to sign Ajax’s Jurrien Timber means they have effectively ended their pursuit of the player:
“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 can play both as a centre-back and right-back, and he was reportedly available for around £35m, but it appears that manager Mikel Arteta decided that Timber was the better option.
At the time of writing, the Ajax star’s transfer has not been officially confirmed but it is hoped that the deal will be announced before the Gunners head out on their tour of the United States in just over a week’s time.
A bid for another fullback?
While it appears that Arsenal’s pursuit of Simakan is dead, there are still some rumours circulating that the London club may consider a move for another right-back.
Reports in the German media last week suggested that an offer for Bayer Leverkusen wingback Jeremie Frimpong has been considered, although it doesn’t seem as if the Gunners are ready to step up interest at the moment.
With Timber a capable fullback, you can’t really see there being a need to spend a sizeable amount on another player who plays in the same position. It is believed that Leverkusen may demand as much as £35m for Frimpong, which is pretty similar to what Timber will cost.
Arsenal will prioritise a move for a midfielder
If Mikel Arteta’s side do go back into the transfer market before the window shuts in August, it is believed that they will strengthen in the middle of the park.
While Declan Rice is expected to join from West Ham very soon, there is a chance that Thomas Partey could leave the Emirates, and Albert Sambi Lokonga’s future also remains uncertain.
Arsenal will be reluctant to leave themselves short in such a key area so an approach for another central midfield player is still a possibility.