Liverpool-linked Denis Zakaria is looking increasingly likely to leave Borussia Monchengladbach this summer, according to reports.
This comes from Bild. They say that a contractual agreement could not be agreed between the player and Bundesliga outfit, with Zakaria intent on securing himself a summer departure.
The Switzerland international is currently contracted at Gladbach until 2022, and has an asking-price of £37 million with the club open to selling him ahead of the final year of his deal.
Who is he?
Zakaria, 24, who has been capped 28 times for his country, made the transition to the German top-flight from Young Boys in 2017. Last season, he helped inspire his club-side to a Champions League finish.
Opta powered website WhoScored.com ranked Zakaria as the 26th best player in the Bundesliga last season. He averaged 2.1 tackles per game, more than any Liverpool midfielder.
Zakaria has received big praise so far in his career and has even been likened to some of the game’s greatest ever players including Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
His Gladbach teammate, Yann Sommer, recently raved about the former Young Boys star to the Bundesliga’s official website. “It’s not easy to compare him to the greats of the past, but he combines many qualities that were really defined by Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lothar Matthaus said: “I’m glad that Gladbach have found another pearl. At his age I was earning my first stripes for Borussia. He reminds me of Toni Kroos at that age.”
Standing at a towering 6ft 3in, Zakaria has proven he is so much more than his physical stature suggests. He’s got quite the engine on him, too. Nine games into the 2019/20 campaign, the Bundesliga found that no-one covered more distance than Zakaria (99.6km), while he boasted his team’s second-highest successful pass rate (88 per cent) and won duels (97).
His progress last term was hampered by a serious knee injury in March last year, which kept him out of action for the best part of eight months.
Having returned to action in November, he has since clocked up 13 Bundesliga appearances, his only goal coming during a 2-2 stalemate with Stuttgart last month.
According to Bild, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid also remain keen on the in-demand Gladbach powerhouse.
What RTK has to say – Zakaria to Liverpool?
Despite his fitness woes, Zakaria clearly is a player who statistically stands out from the crowd.
More importantly, he shines in a position where Liverpool are looking to improve in.
Gini Wijnaldum’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, after all. The Dutchman is still yet to agree terms with the club and will likely depart at the end of the season.
There have also been uncertainties regarding the futures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri, while Naby Keita is still yet to himself to Jurgen Klopp.
Zakaria, then, could represent an ample solution to Klopp if the Liverpool boss does opt for a minor midfield reshuffle.