Manchester City have joined the race to sign Borussia Monchengladbach starlet Denis Zakaria this summer, according to reports. Liverpool have also been touted with an interest in the versatile midfielder.
This comes from Sky Sports. They claim that Pep Guardiola is monitoring the 24-year-old, whom he faced in the Champions League round of 16 earlier his month.
Zakaria, a player renowned for his athleticism, aerial threat, strength and technical prowess, is closing in on 200 appearances at club level – 120 of those at the Borussia-Park stadium.
With Xabi Alonso due to become the new Gladbach manager this summer, Zakaria, who operates in both defensive midfield and at centre-back, has a big decision ahead of him.
Gladbach, by their high standards, are enjoying a pretty ordinary season, with Marco Rose’s side currently 10th in the Bundesliga standings.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
They are out of Europe, too, following their 4-0 aggregate defeat to City in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Zakaria started and played the full 90 minutes in both matches.
And he has clearly made a lasting impression on Guardiola, who is reportedly keen to bring the 28-time Switzerland international to the Premier League.
City won’t be alone in their reported pursuit of Zakaria, who according to Sport Bild, is also being tracked by Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
TransferMarkt claim Zakaria has the same agent as Lazar Markovic, who represented Liverpool from 2014 to 2019.
In an interview with Empire of the Kop, German football expert Christian Falk recently confirmed Liverpool’s interest in the player when asked if there were any Bundesliga bargains of interest to Michael Edwards.
Falk said: “I know that Liverpool have their eyes on Zakaria of Mönchengladbach. This is a very talented player who will hit the market next year. A move to the Premiere League is easy for him to imagine.”
What RTK has to say – Can Zakaria to Liverpool still happen?
With City due to join the bidding war, much of Liverpool’s reported interest in Zakaria, as it has with a number of players, will hinge on price.
Zakaria has a contract in Germany until 2022, after all, so Gladbach could be inclined to sell for a cut-price if the player showcased no desire to sign a contract extension.
Sport Bild previously reported that Gladbach are currently commanding an asking-price of £37 million, although we think this could be significantly reduced if Zakaria makes it known he wants to leave.
Still, the prospect of going up against City makes this a precarious transfer saga from Liverpool’s perspective.
Fernandinho’s contract at the Etihad Stadium is due to expire at the end of the season, after all. He will, of course, need replacing and City can afford to spend handsomely to do so.
With that said, whether or not Liverpool can get ahead in the race for Zakaria could hinge on the player’s preferred preference as to where he wants his footballing talents utilised after life at Gladbach.
If Liverpool can convince Zakaria that Anfield is the place to be, then a deal makes absolute sense.