La Liga heavyweights Barcelona have reportedly turned their attention towards 19-year-old River Plate whizkid Santiago Simon.
According to a report by Spanish outlet SPORT, Santiago Simon is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants are set to send representatives on a scouting mission to watch the 19-year-old River Plate whizkid in action.
Santiago Simon has been with River Plate since arriving from Cooperativa Tortuguitas as an 11-year-old in 2013. Since then, the teenage prodigy has come a long way, breaking into the first-team setup in November 2020 before establishing himself as an increasingly important member of the side.
The 19-year-old has started the 2022 season strongly, providing two assists in four games thus far. Simon’s exploits over the last 15 months have not gone unnoticed, with the Argentine whizkid attracting several high profile clubs across Europe towards himself. Much of the interest stems from Spain, with Barcelona, Real Betis and Sevilla among his prospective suitors.
The interest from Barcelona comes in the wake of the rampant uncertainties surrounding the future of Ousmane Dembele. While Xavi Hernandez has given his full support to the French international, he is no closer to penning a renewal, with his current contract expiring in less than six months.
Dembele almost departed Camp Nou in the January transfer window after contract negotiations reached a point of no return. But after a stunning performance against Athletic Bilbao this past weekend, the 24-year-old’s situation has become even more complicated, with Barcelona contemplating offering him a deal.
As per recent reports, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are leading the race to sign Dembele, and his departure will prompt Barcelona to sign a replacement. To that end, several wide-attackers have been linked with the Blaugrana, including Serge Gnabry.
Meanwhile, Memphis Depay also faces an uncertain future at Camp Nou amid links with Serie A trio AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. So there could be ample space for Santiago Simon to fill. Barcelona will soon send delegates to Argentina to watch the 19-year-old whizkid in action while discussing his qualities with coaches in the country. A move could be in the offing for the teenager.