According to Sky Sports, Denis Zakaria is still on Manchester City’s transfer radar, after making enquiries about him last summer.
A new report from German outlet Bild has claimed that the Borussia Monchengladbach player is set to cost around £17 million, having originally been valued much higher
Zakaria is said not to want to extend his contract, with his existing deal expiring in the summer of 2022 according to Transfermarkt.
Bild state that Gladbach can realistically hope for a maximum of €20 million/£17 million.
That should give City all the encouragement to go after the Switzerland international this summer, who has the potential to become a genuine successor to Fernandinho.
The Brazilian may yet play another season at the Etihad, but the South American – who turns 36 in May – obviously needs replacing for the long-term.
Just like Fernandinho, Zakaria operates as a holding midfielder but can also play in central defence if needed – making him a pretty good candidate.
Zakaria is the man for City
So he may have struggled slightly follow his knee injury, but the level he was showing before that, and his apparent £17 million valuation, should definitely prompt City to spring into action.
It is going to be extremely difficult to ultimately replace Fernandinho, but Zakaria really is a great bet.
The 6ft 2in enforcer is good on the ball and never shirks a challenge. He probably picks up too many yellow cards (seven in 18/19, nine in 19/20, four so far in 20/21), but perhaps this is just another reason why he’s perfect to replace Fernandinho.
According to feature from the Bundesliga earlier this summer, Zakaria plays a bit like former Citizen Patrick Vieira, who he says he has been compared to before.
That would suggest him as being physically dominant, but also very technically sound as well.
If Gladbach really would hear offers around the £17 million mark, Zakaria is a no-brainer for Pep Guardiola.