Manchester City are 'preparing' an offer in the region of €40m for Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria, with the Citizens expected to make their move next summer.
With Fernandinho's contract due to expire next summer and Rodri still struggling to control games, Pep Guardiola is in need of reinforcements at the base of his midfield. Ilkay Gundogan can drop in, but he's more effective when operating slightly further up the field.
Christian Falk of Sport Bild reports that Gladbach's Zakaria has been identified by City as the player to strengthen in the defensive midfield department. In fact, City are preparing to make their move for the 23-year-old next summer, and will submit an offer of around €40m with the hope of securing his services.
Zakaria has been out of action for the Bundesliga outfit since March due to a knee injury which has continued to trouble him. Indeed, Gladbach have missed the powerful enforcer during his time off, not only because of his ability to read the game and sniff out danger, but also because he's able to drive forward and link up with those around him.
Due to his hugely impressive displays at the base of Gladbach's midfield - and indeed at centre-back as well - Zakaria attracted major interest during the recent transfer window. While no move ever materialised, it has been said Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are all still keeping a close eye on him.
However, they are now expected to face stiff competition from City for his services. Guardiola's men have, in more recent times, lacked the kind of dominance in the centre of the park which has seen them take control of matches so effectively in recent seasons.
The addition of a player like Zakaria - who has just under two years remaining on his current deal - would allow the likes of Kevin De Bruyne to flourish, while also taking the pressure off Rodri.