Bye-bye Fernandinho: Txiki should seal Man City swoop for £36m-rated beast this summer – opinion

Bye-bye Fernandinho: Txiki should seal Man City swoop for £36m-rated beast this summer – opinion

Manchester City are continuing to be linked with Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria ahead of the summer, and with Fernandinho widely expected to depart, the Swiss international could arrive as the Brazilian’s replacement.

According to Sport Bild (via Sport Witness), the 24-year-old is one of four Monchengladbach players who could depart this summer due to their contracts expiring in 2022, and Manchester City are ‘especially interested’ in adding the defensive-midfielder to their squad.

There are currently no signs to suggest that Fernandinho will sign a contract extension with Pep Guardiola’s side before the end of the season, so it seems likely that the former Shakhtar Donetsk man will depart the Citizens this summer when his current contract expires.

Whilst the 35-year-old has given way for Rodri in recent seasons he has still featured on a fairly regular basis for Guardiola in cup competitions this season, so they will arguably need to add someone such as Zakaria who can compete with the Spaniard for a starting spot in this City side.

Considering the 24-year-old’s performances for Marco Rose’s side in recent seasons, he could be a superb addition to Guardiola’s squad.

In 23 Bundesliga appearances last season, the Swiss midfielder averaged a superb 7.15 rating, averaging 2.1 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game in Germany’s top-flight.

Fernandinho meanwhile, would average 1.7 tackles and 0.8 interceptions in the Premier League last season, which certainly emphasises that the Monchengladbach man could step up as his replacement.

Zakaria also scores impressively on FBref when it comes to his defensive attributes, despite arguably not being at his best this season, perhaps due to a knee injury that kept him out for much of 2020.

However, it seems clear that the £36m-rated Zakaria is a quality defensive-midfielder when he is at his best, and if Fernandinho does end up departing this summer, City’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain should definitely try and bring the Swiss international to the Etihad as his replacement.

And, in other news… Ilkay Gundogan voted Premier League fans’ player of the month for January

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