Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl has reportedly claimed that Denis Zakaria, who has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City, would “prefer” to leave the club this summer.
The 24-year-old defensive midfielder played twice for Switzerland at Euro 2020 as they reached the quarter-finals. He missed out on European qualification with his club as they finished eighth in the Bundesliga last season.
According to the Daily Mail, Eberl revealed that Monchengladbach are finding it difficult to pin Zakaria down to a new contract. He said the club has been trying to come to an agreement since October.
But it seems the player wants a move away from his current employers with less than 12 months of his contract remaining.
Eberl said: “With Denis, we have been trying to extend his contract since October. Denis and his management told us pretty clearly that they would prefer a transfer this summer.”
Since moving from Swiss outfit Young Boys in 2017, Zakaria has 128 times for Monchengladbach. During that time he has netted nine times and provided seven assists.
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Furthermore, he has a great bond with boss Adi Hütter, whom he worked under at Young Boys.
He once said his senior was “like a father to me because he helped me a lot.” He added: “We have a very good relationship.”
Nevertheless, it seems as though the pair could part ways this summer.
Zakaria linked with Arteta, Guardiola
Eberl’s comments about Zakaria will have surely pricked the ears of Manchester City and Arsenal. Both would have different opportunities to offer for the rising talent.
With Granit Xhaka reportedly imminently leaving for Roma and Mattéo Guendouzi loaned to Marseille, the Gunners are in need of some midfield stability.
Mikel Arteta have already strengthened his ranks with the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga but is looking to bolster his roster further.
Zakaria would likely get more first team action at European football-less Arsenal. However, the pull of Champions League football may lure him to Manchester City instead.
Pep Guardiola has enhanced the careers of fellow defensive midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri during his tenure. This is something that would certainly peak the interests of Zakaria.
After signing for the club for £11million four years ago, Monchengladbach could cash in on a tidy profit should they allow him to leave.
According to Transfermarkt, the midfielder is now worth around £27million.