Nigerian star Moses Simon might not be appearing at the World Cup this summer, but he is still a target for some of England’s top clubs.
The 27-year-old plays for Nantes in France, but he’s been linked with several top English clubs this summer. One of those are two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest, who have returned from more than two decades in the wilderness to once again feature in England’s top flight. They’ve been on a spending spree as they look to remain in the Premier League, and Simon is one player on their radar.
Football Fan Cast reports they may add Simon to their ranks, where he’d join Nigerian teammate Taiwo Awoniyi, who also recently moved to the City Ground. They’ve been attracted by the words of journalist Oma Akatugba, who labeled him as ‘unplayable, unstoppable, unbelievable’ after an African Cup of Nations Group Stage game. Forest, who returned to the Premier League via the play-offs, are not the only English sleeping giant hoping to snare the winger.
Leeds United have been back in the Premier League for a couple of seasons now, but like Forest, they too dipped into the third tier of the English game before clawing their way back. They’re also strengthening and added United States pair Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams to their side over the summer. It seems to be paying off; they recently thrashed a star-studded Chelsea side 3-0 at Elland Road, and they’re now also being linked with a move for the attacker.
It’s believed they tried to take him to the Premier League in January, and they could be back with a big offer before the transfer window closes. Back then, they could only offer him uncertainty; they were locked in a relegation battle and seemed destined for the drop. However, Nantes blocked the move, and new Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has got them firing again. Indeed Simon did admit to having his head turned by the offer.
“It is true. My agent told me about some offers; Leeds United came calling with a strong offer and (it was my) intention to seal the deal immediately,” Moses told HITC. “(But) my club want me to finish the season with Nantes.”
It may be he now wants to do the same; neither Leeds nor Nottingham Forest are in European competition this season, but Nantes are. They qualified for the Europa League after beating OGC Nice to lift the Coupe de France, and despite finishing ninth, they can now offer Simon European football. They’re not likely to be among the favorites to win the competition in Ladbrokes Europa League betting odds, but they could see some big nights at the Stade de la Beaujoire, with Roma, Manchester United, Arsenal, Lazio and Real Betis all potential opponents. Could that sway his decision?
It’s been a couple of seasons since Simon played on the European stage. Having spent some of his youth with Ajax, he turned professional with Slovakian side AS Trencin, where he bagged three Europa League goals in a single game against Vojvodina Novi Sad. He later moved to Gent in Belgium and added 12 Europa League appearances and five Champions League outings without a goal. His moves to Levante and Nantes have not yielded European football until now.
Whether Forest or Leeds are to make a move is unclear, but they only have until the final day of August to do so; otherwise, it could be a wait until the winter window once again, by which time he may have once again tasted the buzz of major European football.
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