Fabrizio Romano believes Manchester United were ‘in pole position’ to sign Xavi Simons with the Paris Saint-Germain starlet now matching Erling Haaland’s record in the Bundesliga at RB Leipzig.

A Dutch international who spent last season on loan in the Eredivisie? Of course Xavi Simons – with his dazzling displays in red-and-white stripes – caught Erik ten Hag’s eye; the former Ajax boss always on the lookout for potential transfer targets making a name for themselves in his Netherlands homeland.

With 19 league goals for PSV Eindhoven in 2022/23, Simons finished as the division’s joint-top scorer. And that only scratches the surface of his impact. A wonderfully balletic, supremely self-confident footballer, Simons only turned 20 in April but was already dominating games for one of the biggest clubs in the country.

A one-man G/A machine, almost unstoppable when in full flow.

RB Leipzig v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga
Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Manchester United wanted PSG’s Xavi Simons

“In the summer, Manchester United considered Xavi Simons as an option,” Romano now tells the United Stand.“They had some calls. Erik ten Hag was really keen on (bringing) Xavi Simons to Manchester United, but then PSG triggered the buy-back clause they had in the contract with PSV Eindhoven.

“But in case the player was going to stay at PSV Eindhoven and had decided against (accepting PSG’s offer), Man Utd were pole position to bring Xavi Simons to Old Trafford this summer.

“For that buy-back clause, the player’s position was crucial. It was Xavi Simons’ (decision) to say; ‘yes, okay I’m coming back to PSG’. Or; ‘I’m not coming back. I’m staying here at PSV or joining another club.’

“In that case, in the second option, Man Utd were the big favourites.”

Matching Erling Haaland’s record

Simons eventually joined RB Leipzig on another loan deal after Paris Saint-Germain triggered the £5 million buy-back clause in his PSV contract. Now, with three goals and four assists in his first four Leipzig appearances, Simons is securing his place in the Bundesliga’s record books.

Only Paco Alcacer and a certain free-scoring Norwegian mustered quite so many goal contributions in their first four outings in Germany’s top flight.