Manchester United’s need for a defensive midfielder has been underlined during the opening few games of this season.
A name linked to United in the past has been Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria, with BILD reporting the Red Devils were tracking his progress.
Now we are into a situation where Zakaria is in the final year of his contract and is going to be available on a free transfer next summer.
But United could miss out, with Jose Mourinho’s Roma taking a proactive approach, reports Fabrizio Romano.
Would Zakaria be a miss for United?
On a free transfer, it could be argued United have little to lose if they invest in bringing the Swiss international to the club.
Zakaria is just 24-years-old with 37 international caps and 113 Bundesliga appearances to him name too. He also played 67 times for Young Boys before joining ‘Gladbach.
This season Zakaria has a surprisingly impressive goal record, scoring two goals from five games. These are among just 11 he has scored for the German side.
Zakaria also has one assist and is averaging one tackle per game and 1.2 interception.
Two years ago Zakaria told the Bundesliga website: “I’ve been compared to [Patrick] Vieira and [Paul] Pogba – two more players I really respect and, in a way, see as role models. When I watch videos of them I think I’d like to play that way.”
City were linked with a move for Zakaria by The Mail in the summer.
Injury impacted his season last year, restricting him to just 15 Bundesliga starts. That is why his return to form this season has been so impressive.
A fortnight ago Zakaria starred in a 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in which he struck the winner, outplaying Jude Bellingham.
In that game he completed 89 per cent of his passes in his role as a deep lying midfielder in a 3-4-2-1 formation.
United will have other options of course, may consider alternatives to be better suited than Zakaria. But when it is a case of Zakaria on a free or Declan Rice for £100 million, the Swiss midfielder is far better value, and leaves room for another as well.
It looks like Jose Mourinho has stolen a march on United for this particular move, but it may not be too late, yet.
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