Denis Zakaria has explained why a January transfer to Manchester United failed to materialise despite Ralf Rangnick personally intervening, per a report.
Rangnick reportedly identified central midfield as the area Man Utd needed to strengthen even before taking charge. The club were tentatively linked with blockbuster moves for Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice. On a more realistic note, Bundesliga pair Amadou Haidara and Denis Zakaria were mentioned.
Zakaria in particular presented an excellent opportunity to bolster United’s midfield. The Swiss international, 25, had entered the last six months of his contract at Borussia Monchengladbach.
That made him available for overseas clubs to forge a pre-contract agreement with. Zakaria was linked to several English sides, most notably United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Sport Witness state interim Red Devils boss Rangnick even personally held talks with the combative midfielder’s agent in mid-January.
However, Juventus would ultimately win the race, and their interest was so strong that they signed Zakaria in January outright.
The Turin club forked out around £4m in the move, and Zakaria made a superb start to life in Italy when scoring on his debut versus Verona on Sunday.
Zakaria explains Old Trafford snub
Now, speaking to Swiss outlet La Tribune de Genève (via Sport Witness), Zakaria shed light on why Juventus’ transfer rivals failed with their pursuits.
When asked why he chose Juventus when the likes of Man Utd were showing strong interest, Zakaria explained: “Because Juventus are the club that showed the most desire to sign me.
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“There is something to do with the feeling too. You can feel the way people talk to you, the interest people have in you.
“Other clubs that approached me were more reserved. With Juve, there was an immediate real interest in me, with concrete things from the outset.
“It’s pleasant, rewarding, and that made the difference.”
Pochettino to Man Utd on – pending incredible swap
Meanwhile, Manchester United have seemingly been cleared to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager this summer – but only if they allow a big-name star to depart for the French capital in return.
Reports this week say Pochettino has reportedly ‘had enough’ of life in Paris. They claim he feels he has been forced to work in highly-testing conditions and feels the constant criticism of his management is wholly unfair.
Now, reports linking Pochettino to United appear to be growing louder by the day. Indeed, the Daily Mirror claims PSG are open to the deal taking place. However, in lieu of compensation, they would like to take Cristiano Ronaldo to Paris.
The paper claims Ronaldo is open to leaving Old Trafford this summer. And despite having a contract until 2023, the Portuguese superstar is reportedly ‘frustrated with life’ back in Manchester.
Despite having scored 14 goals in his second spell with the Red Devils, matters on the pitch have not gone smoothly.
They are battling Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham to finish fourth. Furthermore, the Champions League remains United’s last hope of silverware after bowing out of the FA Cup to Middlebsrough. That though in itself looks a long shot given United’s current form.
As such, the Mirror claims a move to Paris looks to be on the cards.