Report: Chelsea miss out on 'Varane' like 20-year-old who they approached in January

Mohamed Simakan has been snatched from the jaws of Chelsea and several European heavyweights after he joined RB Leipzig from Strasbourg.

Leipzig announced the signing of Simakan yesterday, to the disappointment of plenty rival clubs around the continent.

Chelsea earmarked him in January as a potential centre-back option and even made contact with the 20-year-old, according to le10 Sport.

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

AC Milan and Napoli had also been linked, but it was Julian Nagelsmann who won the race.

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Simakan was one of several defensive candidates on the Blues books but will have to be crossed out after his move to the Bundesliga.

This is a decent investment for Leipzig, particularly because they recently lost their own talented young defender.

Dayot Upamencano was sold to German giant Bayern Munich in February, another name that Chelsea had shown interest in.  

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Strasbourg’s director of training, Francois Keller, described Simakan as having ‘athletic qualities reminiscent of those from (Raphael) Varane’ (l’Equipe).   

As a fellow French international, this is high praise for a player who doesn’t celebrate his 21st birthday until May.

But his statistics certainly demonstrate a maturity beyond his youthful years.

The defender had started every one of Strasbourg’s Ligue 1 fixtures this season until he suffered an injury against Lens.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.