Leipzig buy French defender Simakan from Strasbourg

STRASBOURG, FRANCE (AFP) – Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan will join RB Leipzig at the end of the season, the Ligue 1 team announced on Monday.

According to local media in Strasbourg, Leipzig are paying around EUR15 million (USD17.9 million), for the defender who has played 44 times for the Alsace outfit since joining the club in July 2017. He has two France under-20 caps.

The 20-year-old becomes the latest promising defender to leave a French club for the Bundesliga.

Last week Borussia Dortmund announced they had signed Soumaila Coulibaly, 17, from Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) youth academy for next season. Last summer, PSG lost another promising defender to the Bundesliga when 18-year-old Tanguy Kouassi joined Bayern Munich. Both were at the end of their contracts.

Simakan underwent surgery on his left knee in January. He is rehabilitating and should be back on the pitch in the coming weeks for Strasbourg, who are 15th in Ligue 1.

Leipzig, second in the Bundesliga, said Simakan had signed for five seasons.

Leipzig are reportedly losing another French defender, Dayot Upamecano, in the summer to Bayern, who German media said was his first choice among clubs prepared to activate his EUR43 million release clause.

Mohamed Simakan becomes the latest promising defender to leave a French club for the Bundesliga. PHOTO: AFP