Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano has recently suggested on his Here We Go podcast that the Citizens are considering a move for Borussia Monchengladbach defensive-midfielder Denis Zakaria.
As per City Xtra on Twitter, the City board are focused on bringing in the Swiss international and have made contact with the player’s agent but nothing is advanced at this stage.
Should City agree a deal with the Bundesliga side for the £36 million-rated midfielder, he could prove to be Fernandinho’s long-term replacement at the club.
The 35-year-old Brazilian has made 321 appearances during his time the club, in which time he has contributed 23 goals and 26 assists (per Transfermarkt).
However, he is no longer a regular in Pep Guardiola’s side and is perhaps likely to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of this season.
Spanish midfielder Rodri was seemingly the man to step up as his long-term replacement, but the 24-year-old doesn’t look to be completely accustomed to the physicality of the Premier League thus far, with the Spanish international noticeably outpaced by Harry Kane in the defeat against Spurs recently, suggesting that the Citizens could do with someone more physical such as Zakaria in defensive-midfield.
The 24-year-old has been a big part of Monchengladbach’s success in recent seasons, with the club’s sporting director Max Eberl praising his influence recently, and lamenting the fact that he was injured, saying:
“Denis’ development has been fantastic. Especially in the past season under Marco Rose, he took a very big leap forward.
“With his dynamics, speed, aggressiveness and intense runs in behind, he is enormously important for our game. It’s no secret that we miss him a lot and that he’s not easy to replace.” (per Buli news)
The midfielder recently returned from that long-term knee injury, and City may have to act fast if they want to bring him to the club in the near future, as his superb performances in the Bundesliga last season suggest that he won’t be short of suitors.
It will be interesting to see whether City do actively pursue Zakaria in the upcoming transfer window and whether he could be the true heir to Fernandinho’s throne.
AND, in other news… City may well be regretting selling “very quick” centre-back