Arsenal could be dealt a blow in their pursuit of the ‘new Mesut Ozil’, having initially been considered strong frontrunners to sign him in the summer, with the player set to make the controlling decision in his future.
The Gunners are admirers of Xavi Simons, who has been on loan at RB Leipzig this season, but the 20-year-old is set to return to parent club Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, according to Sky Sport Germany.
Leipzig would be keen to keep hold of Simons, however they do not have a purchase option in the loan, although the forward could still spend next season on loan there if he desires to, with PSG open to talks.
Simons has been in scintillating form for Leipzig this season, grabbing five goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga, which has attracted interest from Arsenal among other sides.
The Dutch international signed for PSG in the summer before making his loan move to Leipzig, having had a buy-back option activated following an impressive season with PSV Eindhoven.
However, Simons’ has not confirmed whether he sees his long-term future at PSG despite his transfer there, which led to Arsenal’s interest, but the youngster appears to prefer another loan at Leipzig, which could see Mikel Arteta consider other options.
Arsenal keen to sign Simons as Saka backup
Simons has drawn comparisons to former Arsenal icon Ozil due to his creativity and ability to grab assists and he had been targeted in part due to his versatility to play all across the attacking midfield.
The Gunners have been looking at alternatives to Bukayo Saka, with the England international suffering a dip in form and looking fatigued after missing just one Premier League game since the start of the 2021/22 season.
Simons’ profile matches that of Arsenal’s young squad but he appears to want a more stable situation, having come through Barcelona’s academy before moving to PSG for the first time in 2021.
But the Gunners would face strong competition from the likes of Bayern Munich, if Simons even had interest in leaving PSG, and it appears as though the wonderkid will not make any hasty decisions on his future any time soon.