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Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool leading race to sign Bayern Munich target Denis Zakaria

BVB and Liverpool could beat Bayern to the punch for Gladbach’s Zakaria.

Hannover 96 v Borussia Mönchengladbach - DFB Cup: Round of Sixteen Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images

Bayern Munich has been linked with a potential move for Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria, as the player, along with Matthias Ginter, has said he will definitely be leaving Die Fohlen by this summer. His contract is set to expire this June and the club has made it clear that Zakaria does not want to sign a contract extension, as has been recently confirmed by sporting director Max Eberl.

For Bayern, there was a possibility floated that they could sign him with the intent to use him more often as a center-back as opposed to a central midfielder since they already have decent depth in that position and Niklas Sule has confirmed he will be leaving Bayern on a free transfer this summer.

Regardless of just how serious Bayern is in their pursuit of Zakaria, it now looks like there’s a high susceptibility they will lose out to other suitors. Per sources close to ESPN (via Abendzeitung), both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool are interested in signing Zakaria and both would be ready and willing to do so before the January transfer window closes. Because of this, either Dortmund or Liverpool would be more suitable for ‘Gladbach as they could potentially bring in some money for him versus letting him go for free during the summer window.

From Dortmund’s perspective, they are looking to line up a replacement for Axel Witsel, as his contract expires this summer and there haven’t been any indications that there will be a contract renewal. That, of course, could change between now and getting closer to the summer transfer window, but Marco Rose and company might want to replace him.

For Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp certainly has to consider the aging fitness levels of both Jordan Henderson and James Milner as well. By that same token, fellow midfielders Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara do not have the best injury track records, which could be cause for concern for Klopp; at least enough to consider reinforcements in midfield.

For Bayern, Zakaria has not yet been ruled out altogether, but sporting director Hasan Sailihamidzic has recently confirmed that they will not be making any signings this winter. The only possibility for Zakaria at Bayern would be signing him this summer on a free transfer. Even still, with the news that Sule will definitely be leaving the club, Bayern will be focused on signing a replacement center back, with both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen from Chelsea looking like the most likely candidates to be said replacement. Zakaria could also be considered a gap filler if Corentin Tolisso were to leave the club, but recent developments suggest Bayern is ready to extend Tolisso’s contract, especially after solid performances against Hertha Berlin and FC Köln.