Talks quicken as Man Utd learn what it’ll cost to land serious Fred upgrade

Date published: Thursday 18th November 2021 1:42 - James Marshment

Florian Neuhaus, Lars Stindl, Denis Zakaria Borussia Monchengladbach celeb during Bundesliga game at Dusseldorf

Manchester United are reportedly stepping up the hunt to bring Denis Zakaria to Old Trafford after learning what they must pay the midfielder in signing-on fees.

The 24-year-old has carved out a reputation as one of European football’s best holding midfielders. However, with his deal at Borussia Monchengladbach due to expire at the end of the season, he’s fast becoming one of the world’s most wanted men. Indeed, Zakaria is able to negotiate terms with overseas suitors from January 1 and is able to sign a pre-contract agreement.

To that end, the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham emerged as the early contenders for his signature. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is also reportedly an admirer of the Switzerland international.

Liverpool, a past potential suitor for Zakaria, have also stepped up interest in recent days.

However, reports on Wednesday clam it is United who are now in the mix to sign him, having made an approach to his advisors.

The defensive midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, would prove a useful asset.

According to Sportitalia journalist Gianluigi Longari, though, the increased talk around the player has led United to increase their interest.

The reporter ‘confirms’ in his tweet that the Red Devils have made ‘new contact’ over a transfer for him. He, however, also states that Juventus are in the race.

Those claims have now been taken a step further by Blick deputy editor-in-chief Andreas Böni.

He confirms United’s interest in the player – seen by John Murtough as an upgrade on Fred – is genuine. Furthermore, he’s revealed what Zakaria’s demands are were he to make the free-transfer switch.

“His market value is €30-40million, I think,” he told Blick.

“His contract with Gladbach expires in the summer. The clubs save that and can reinvest it.

“That’s how they try to lure the player. If you hear around in the scene, there will be €10-12million in cash with a good contract over years, which will make up for it. One saves €30-40 million!

“The way he is playing at the moment, it’s very unlikely Gladbach will keep him. They would have to offer something similar.

“But they have been hit by Corona. Whether that gives them the money to extend the contract is questionable. They have Florian Neuhaus, a player in the backfield who can replace him quickly.

“It’s more realistic is that they try to sell him in the winter to see money.”

Dalot out, Trippier in at Man Utd

Meanwhile, Diogo Dalot’s exit to Roma has reportedly moved closer, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants a top replacement in first.

The full-back arrived at Old Trafford from Porto in the summer of 2018 under Jose Mourinho’s stewardship. While he recovered from injury to play a solid portion of his debut season, his game time has since waned.

Indeed, Solskjaer further bolstered the right-back area at United. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is therefore now the first-choice star, with Dalot in reserve.

The Portugal international spent last season on loan at AC Milan but is now back at United, following fellow full-back Brandon Williams’ loan move to Norwich.

Still, Mourinho reportedly wants Dalot back in Italy – this time for Roma. The Serie A club are supposedly targeting an initial loan deal in January ahead of the option to buy the full-back next summer for €15million (£12.5million).

And in his place, it’s claimed Solskjaer will bring in Trippier to put pressure on Wan-Bissaka.

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