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Bayern Munich and Manchester United in a race for Denis Zakaria of Borussia Mönchengladbach

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The highly rated 23-year-old midfielder is a hot item on the transfer wish lists of the two European giants.

Borussia Moenchengladbach v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images

Borussia Mönchengladbach’s highly rated midfielder Denis Zakaria is reportedly a high priority in the transfer books of Manchester United (EXPRESS). United however, face stiff competition from Bayern Munich, who are also interested in bringing the 23-year-old Swiss International to the Allianz Arena.

After bolstering their squad in the winter with the Portuguese Bruno Fernandes — who has made an immediate impact— United look to further strengthen their midfield with Denis Zakaria. Having had an exceptional season so far, Zakaria has played an important part in Borussia’s campaign this season. Sporting director Max Eberl is confident that Gladbach can hold on to his dynamic midfielder past the current season should they qualify for the Champions League. He said,

I think that there is a very good chance that Denis will still be with us next year if we qualify for the Champions League

Standing at 6’3”, Zakaria is a physically imposing figure on the pitch. An all-action midfielder known for his ball holding skills, clean passing, dribbling flair and solid tackling, he is often played in the defensive midfield position, drawing comparisons to the French great Patrick Vieira. The versatile Zakaria is also perfectly able to be deployed in the box-to-box role or in central defense serving as an adequate backup option.

While his aerial ability needs work, Zakaria is a promising talent that could replace an aging Javi Martinez in defensive midfield while also serving as a backup at central defense — an area that has been severely hit by injury this season for Bayern.

Despite having a greater appeal than United, due to the current logjam in midfield at Bayern —who are also expecting loanee Adrian Fein to return and fill the role of defensive midfield— a promise of starting minutes in Munich may not be a guarantee for Zakaria. This alone could decide which club ultimately wins his signature at the end of the season.