Manchester United must swoop for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria this summer as they look to secure their first Premier League title since 2013.
What’s the story?
The 24-year-old appears to be available as the upcoming transfer window approaches after failing to agree terms on a new deal with his current club.
Zakaria’s contract is set to expire after next season’s conclusion and could, therefore, be available at a reduced price over the coming months.
While United haven’t been linked with a move for the Switzerland international, The Athletic have highlighted him as someone Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be looking to sign, and they’re absolutely right to do so.
Manchester United must swoop
United undoubtedly progressed on the pitch in 2020/21, but the lack of silverware and a 12-point gap to Premier League champions Manchester City tells its own story.
With their domestic rivals already making moves in the transfer market, acquiring some quality additions will be vital if the Old Trafford outfit are to continue moving forwards.
One area of particular weakness is the defensive midfield role. While Scott McTominay and Fred have filled in admirably in that position, neither man is naturally suited to the demands it requires.
Solskjaer has often opted for a combination of the two men in a double pivot for added protection, but bringing in one star who can do it on his own will free up an attacking midfielder to roam forwards and play closer to the opposition goal.
However, with United appearing to prioritise a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho in a deal that is expected to reach the £80 million mark, they may be shopping on a budget when it comes to a holding midfielder.
West Ham United’s Declan Rice had been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past, although the financial effect of the ongoing pandemic means the Red Devils are unlikely to be able to afford both young English aces this summer.
Therefore, a move for Zakaria would make perfect sense for Solskjaer, especially with Paul Pogba’s contract set to expire in just 12 months’ time.
In fact, in recent weeks, United’s Frenchman has been touted with an exit from Old Trafford this summer, with reports suggesting that the club will be looking to sell if he doesn’t sign a new contract to extend his stay.
The highly-rated Zakaria meanwhile has impressed throughout his time with Monchengladbach, earning praise from former manager Marco Rose.
“He is a very complete footballer who still has a lot of development potential,” revealed the American tactician.
“He has incredible dynamics, understanding of the game and is not yet at the end of his development.”
Although his current market value is £27m (as per Transfermarkt), United could negotiate that price down and secure themselves a bargain, meaning the club’s hierarchy must swoop for Zakaria as Solskjaer looks to return the club to its former glories.