Borussia Mönchengladbach’s highly-rated young midfielder Denis Zakaria is hoping to be able to move to Barcelona at the end of the season on a free transfer.
Zakaria’s contract with the Bundesliga side expires at the end of June 2022 and he has already decided he wants a change of scenery, according to Diario Sport. The midfielder “hopes” to be able to move to the Camp Nou and has already rejected the offer of a move to Serie A side Roma.
Barcelona’s well-documented financial problems saw the club bring in free agents Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Memphis Depay in the summer, and the club may be tempted to go for free transfers once again.
The Catalan giants have been regularly linked with a midfielder, after missing out on Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain last summer, and Zakaria has the “powerful” profile the club is looking for, according to Roger Torello at Mundo Deportivo.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Zakaria Compared To Vieira and Pogba
Zakaria is a full Switzerland international who began his career with Servette and then moved on to Young Boys before being snapped up by Gladbach in 2017 on a five-year contract.
The all-action midfielder has attracted plenty of praise throughout his time in Germany and has spoken about how he’s already been compared to former Arsenal star Patrick Vieira and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, as reported by the Bundesliga.
He said, “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.”
Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer has also compared Zakaria to a couple of other famous midfielders. He explained, “It’s not easy to compare him to the greats of the past, but he combines many qualities that were really defined by Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane.”
Free Transfers The Future For Barcelona?
There’s no doubt that players available on free transfers will be tempting for Barcelona due to the club’s economic crisis. Vice-president Eduard Romeu has told Diario Sport it may be some time before the club can bring in big names again.
“It is very important that Barça recover the model that it should never have abandoned, with La Masia as the backbone of the team and the stars as accessories,” he said. “I have to exercise prudence: we won’t be able to sign the best players in the world for two years. “Now we have other priorities: lower salaries and bring them to market price. This is the handicap that we have compared to the other clubs.”
Zakaria is just one of several free agents thought to be on Barca’s radar currently. According to Mundo Deportivo, the club are also looking at other midfielders including Pogba and AC Milan’s Franck Kessie who are also out of contract at the end of the season.