Manchester City are monitoring Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria ahead of a potential summer transfer, claims a report.
Pep Guardiola is understood to be a fan of the 24-year-old Switzerland international, but an offer never materialised.
Instead City added two defenders in the form of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias, while winger Ferran Torres also arrived.
But with Fernandinho’s contract up in the summer Guardiola will look to push through a midfielder signing.
Ismael Bennacer, Adrien Rabiot and Douglas Luiz have all been linked with the Premier League leaders, but Zakaria would appear to be at the top of the list. And Guardiola got a close up look at the player twice recently as City knocked out Monchengladbach over two legs in the Champions League.
Zakaria will also enter the final year of his contract this summer.
City though will have rivals for Zakaria with Liverpool understood to be keen on the former Young Boys star.
Jurgen Klopp and Co are apparently very keen on the Switzerland holding midfielder. Atletico Madrid also remain “hot” for the player, while German giants Bayern Munich are also interested in the player, according to Calciomercato.
Mönchengladbach and their sporting director Max Eberl want the player to renew his contract. However, an extension has so far not been forthcoming and “signs are now pointing to separation” in the summer.
The German side have already made plans or the departure of Zakaria. They signed a replacement in the form of Kouadio Koné, 19, from Toulouse in January.
Haaland future hint
Meanwhile, Erling Haaland has given a small hint he could be on the move this summer amid questions about the Borussia Dortmund’s striker’s next club and claims of a giant move to the Premier League.
Haaland stormed onto the European scene at the start of last season and has since enjoyed a dramatic rise. He has become arguably the world’s most coveted striker, with Premier League clubs showing interest. Indeed, as well as Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City both reportedly want to sign the 20-year-old.
It came as no surprise then that the subject of his future was the hot topic when Haaland reported for international duty.
While the striker has given little away on his future, he was questioned about what it would take to prise him away from Dortmund.
“They must want me,” he told VG when asked about the possibility of changing clubs.
Haaland is represented by Mino Raiola, the super-agent not known to be the nicest man to deal with. Raiola has fallen foul of Sir Alex Ferguson and Ed Woodward over Paul Pogba in the past. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, meanwhile, seems more inclined to try and keep the peace.
Haaland though was quick to speak up for Raiola when questioned about his agent.
“[He’s] The best agent in the world. He is a nice man,” was the striker’s simple reply.