If Manchester United and Chelsea were hoping that their pursuit of a certain Swiss midfielder would be straight forward, they are in for a rude awakening.
According to reports, Bayern Munich have joined the two Premier League giants in the pursuit of Borussia Monchengladbach defensive midfielder Denis Zakaria, effectively turning it into a three-horse race.
Manchester United have been looking for a long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic for a while, with the Serbian the only out-and-out defensive midfielder in the squad.
Scott McTominay and Fred have been used in that position by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but they are two entirely different players and not ideally suited to that role. The Red Devils, who have been monitoring Zakaria, believe that the 23-year-old could be the perfect man to fill in the shoes of the Serbian at Old Trafford.
However, Manchester United are not the only club with their eyes on the Switzerland international. Chelsea have spent big this summer, but one player they missed out on was West Ham United’s Declan Rice. The Blues wanted to add steel to their midfield, and Frank Lampard had identified Rice as the player of his choice.
However, the Hammers showed little intention of selling their prized asset who stayed on at West Ham beyond the summer. That means that Chelsea might turn their attention to Zakaria too. However, the news of Bayern Munich’s interest in the player might jeopardise the plans of the two Premier League clubs.
Denis Zakaria could be a fabulous addition to both Manchester United and Chelsea
It is easy to see why both Manchester United and Chelsea desire Zakaria; both clubs lack a player of his calibre and playing style in their ranks. The Swiss international could be that player who might improve the defensive midfield at both teams, should he join either one of them.
However, the pulling power of Bayern Munich might pose a bit of a problem for the two Premier League clubs. The Bavarians have a habit of picking out the best talents from the Bundesliga with relative ease, which will cause a few worries at Stamford Bridge as well as Old Trafford.
After investing in their attack once again this summer, Manchester United are due a defensive addition to the midfield soon. So they will loathe to lose out on a talent like Zakaria.
Chelsea, on the other hand, know that prizing Rice away from the Hammers could be tougher than they initially imagined. As such, the Blues might not be willing to quit the battle for the Swiss footballer just yet, which means that the three-way tussle for Zakaria might just pick up pace.Published 21 Oct 2020, 23:09 IST