The 25-year-old has entered the final six months of his current contract with the Bundesliga outfit and is not expected to put pen to paper on fresh terms, opening the door to a potentially imminent exit.
What is the latest news involving Zakaria?
According to well-known reporter and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Zakaria has communicated his ‘plan to leave the club as a free agent at the end of the season’ after failing to agree terms on a new deal.
Romano also revealed that Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Juventus are interested in signing the 40-cap Switzerland international, alongside two unnamed English clubs.
And now United have emerged as a potential suitor for Zakaria as new interim manager Ralf Rangnick looks to address the club’s engine room issues.
German outlet Sport1 claim that Rangnick is a big fan of the defensive-minded dynamo and that there has been positive talks between the midfielder’s camp and the Red Devils’ chief negotiator Matt Judge.
The report also states that Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund are in the running to sign Zakaria and have held extensive discussions about a potential move on a free transfer following the conclusion of 2021/22.
It goes on to say that although United have not yet made a formal offer for Zakaria, Monchengladbach would be willing to accept a fee as low as €6 million (£5m) to prevent their prized asset from departing for nothing.
What has Crook said about Zakaria?
Crook has revealed negotiations have taken place between the 20-time English champions and Zakaria’s agent, with their advances partly motivated by Liverpool’s apparent interest in the player.
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He told GiveMeSport: “I think if they did that, it’d be to keep him out of the clutches of the likes of Liverpool. I think certainly there’s been talks between United and his representatives.
“No fee agreed yet, and there would be a minimal fee, I think it’d be less than £10 million to sign him this month.”
Could Zakaria solve United’s midfield woes?
United’s midfield has long been an area of concern, and former club legend turned pundit Roy Keane labelled current crop Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic a ‘problem’ earlier this season.
Zakaria could be the answer to the Old Trafford outfit’s woes after putting in several eye-catching performances for Monchengladbach since arriving from BSC Young Boys in 2017.
As per FBref.com, he has produced 2.48 blocks, 2.41 interceptions and 4.62 progressive carries per 90 minutes this term, bettering McTominay’s and Fred’s tallies in each metric.
It’s possible, therefore, that Zakaria would provide an upgrade on Rangnick’s options in the middle of the park at present, and his lowly price tag would make him a relatively risk-free acquisition.