RB Leipzig centre-back Mohamed Simakan (22) has received a preliminary call-up from France national team boss Didier Deschamps, according to a report from Foot Mercato. Deschamps will, this Thursday, name his first squad since the agonising loss at the hands of Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final. France will kick-off their campaign to qualify for the Germany-hosted Euro 2024. Les Bleus will host the Netherlands at the Stade de France on Friday March 24 before taking on Ireland in Dublin on Monday, March 27.
Deschamps is expected to shuffle his squad with several young players touted to be called up for the first time. In defence, Deschamps will be without PSG centre-back Presnel Kimpembe, who sustained a season-ending Achilles’ tear while Raphaël Varane has, like Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda and Karim Benzema, announced his international retirement. Téléfoot reported yesterday that Chelsea’s Wesley Fofana and Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo are reportedly “neck and neck” over a call-up for Deschamps’ squad. But according to Foot Mercato, Simakan is also in the running. The 22-year-old versatile centre-back, also able to play on the right, is a mainstay for Leipzig. The Red Bull-owned outfit are third in the Bundesliga standings and will look to cause an upset in the Champions League by eliminating Manchester City tomorrow. The first leg, played in Leipzig, ended in a 1-1 draw.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval