Manchester City ‘will battle rivals Man United for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria’ as Pep Guardiola hunts for midfield options with Fernandinho’s contract set to expire this summer
Manchester City will fight with rivals Manchester United for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria, according to reports.
Pep Guardiola is believed to be in the market for a new midfielder this summer with veteran Fernandinho out of contract at the end of the season, and the Swiss star would be a top quality replacement as an anchor man.
Zakaria is earning plaudits for his imperious displays in the heart of the Bundesliga side’s midfield this season, and has emerged as a target for City, report Sky Sports.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola (right) is reportedly interested in signing Denis Zakaria (left)
Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are also rumoured to be keen on the Swiss star
City have watched the 24-year-old up close this season after he played against them in both legs of their Champions League last-16 tie this year, which the Premier League leaders won 4-0 on aggregate.
But United are also keen on the player, as reported by the Sun, with Solskjaer looking to evolved his midfield options to turn his side into regular title contenders.
He has played in 21 games in all competitions this season, with 10 of those coming in domestic starts – scoring once. Known for his powerful and tough-tackling displays, he started his career in his native Switzerland with Servette as a youngster, before moving to Young Boys in 2015.
In 2017 he got his big move to the German top flight for a reported fee of just £8.5million. Zakaria has shown he is valued highly on the international stage – winning 28 caps for Switzerland and playing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has impressed this season and has already featured twice against City in the Champions League (pictured in the first leg last month)
He also starred for the team during the 2019 Nations League campaign, helping them finish fourth.
It could be a real summer of change for City, who are also preparing for the possible exit of club legend Sergio Aguero. Southampton’s Danny Ings has been mooted as a possible shock replacement.
Guardiola faces losing his key midfielder Fernandinho, who has received proposals to end his eight-year stay at the Etihad and has been tipped for a move back home to Brazil.
Speaking earlier this year, his agent Giovanni Branchini said nothing had yet been decided on his future and suggested Atletico Mineiro would be a front runner.
He could come in as a replacement for Fernandinho, whose contract runs out this summer
‘We’ve received several proposals, good projects from Brazilian and European clubs for Fernandinho,’ Branchini said in January. ‘He’s a phenomenal player and person.
‘I believe it won’t be long before he knows what decision he’ll make. Everyone knows that Fernandinho has a great affection for Atletico and the board. I, too, have an excellent relationship with President Mario Celso Petraglia.
‘Conversations have always happened, but I can’t go ahead and say that we talk about values, for example. It hasn’t happened yet.
‘I confess that it’s difficult to think of Fernandinho returning to Brazil and not playing for Atletico. But we have to wait, it’s a difficult decision, which he has to make with his family.’