Arsenal are reportedly in contact with Denis Zakaria after the defensive midfielder opted to leave German club Borussia Monchengladbach.
The 25-year-old has been at Gladbach since July 2017, following a £10.8million switch from Swiss outfit Young Boys. Zakaria has since made 144 appearances, helping Gladbach to finish fifth in 2018-19 and fourth the following campaign.
The star has long been linked with a Premier League move. Reports suggest Arsenal and Liverpool are the most likely suitors, although Newcastle are also hoping to complete a deal.
A switch to England could now take place after the latest statement from Gladbach. It reads: “Denis Zakaria has informed the club of his intention to leave in the summer after five years at Gladbach.”
Zakaria will become a free agent in June. He can sort out a pre-contract agreement with other clubs from January 1 under the Bosman ruling.
That gives Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle a great chance at landing a top star for effectively nothing.
Sport Witness, citing reports Germany, claim Arsenal have been the first team to act. They are apparently ‘in contact’ with Zakaria and his entourage over a switch to the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta is searching for midfield reinforcements, despite the capture of Albert Sambi Lokonga in the summer. His interest in Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz is clear, although Zakaria is now the cheaper alternative.
The Gunners are ‘desperate’ to land Zakaria and will aim to meet his wage demands. He wants a long-term deal worth £80,000 a week, which fits within Arsenal’s budget.
Their highest earner is skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who picks up £250,000 every seven days. Eight of his team-mates take home £100,000 per week or more.
The news means Liverpool will have to act fast if they want to improve Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.