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Rumour Mongering: Man City Join Liverpool in Race for Denis Zakaria

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The two Premier League rivals have midfield holes to plug this summer.

Manchester City v Bor. Mönchengladbach - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images

According to a report from Sky Sports (that’s primarily about old boy Danny Ings potentially going to Manchester), Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are monitoring Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria, whom they were able to get a closer look over two games in their round-of-16 Champions League tie earlier this month. Both Sport Bild and German football journalist Christian Falk have previously reported on Liverpool FC’s interest in Zakaria... and it makes sense in many ways for all the clubs involved.

Zakaria can certainly inject many qualities into a new team, offering athleticism, an aerial presence, strength and technical prowess in the middle of the part. Liverpool will presumably be looking to replace Gini Wijnaldum if he departs... and even if Zakaria isn’t a like-for-like replacement for Fernandinho, City will be looking to add younger bodies in the middle to replace the Brazillian whose deal expires at the end of the season.

The 28-capped Swiss international’s likely departure will be the latest in a series of ripple effects that have threatened to overwhelm the Foals’ season. Manager Marco Rose is leaving to take over Borussia Dortmund, they’re out of Europe... and kinda floundering in the Bundesliga at 10th after a few stellar seasons. Zakaria’s contract runs until the end of the 2022 season, and Sport Bild has previously reported on an asking-price of £37 million.

A potential financial showdown with Manchester City will always be a lose-lose proposition for Liverpool. Much will hinge on the club’s recruitment staff being able to convince the player that Anfield’s the better place for him to fulfill his potential.