Transfer news: Zakaria to Manchester United, Haidara to Newcastle

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A pair of busy and creative midfielders could leave the Bundesliga for a pair of Uniteds in the Premier League this month.

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The transfer rumor mill says Newcastle and Manchester United are looking to Germany to bring Malian and Swiss midfielders to the shore of the United Kingdom.

Let’s dig into these two new rumors.

Amadou Haidara to Newcastle United

Is Newcastle prepared to spend more than $80 million to bring former RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara to town?

The Magpies have purchased Kieran Trippier to help fix their defense and are on the verge of adding Chris Wood to their strike force, but have been needing a box-to-box midfielder for quite some time and Haidara is a doozy.

Haidara is a Malian international and no relation to left back Massadio, a fellow Malian who struggled to find regular playing time at St. James’ Park from 2013-18.

The midfielder is currently at Africa Cup of Nations and averages about a tackle and interception per game with Leipzig. He’s scored two times in a midfield with Tyler Adams and Kevin Kampl amongst others.

Would he improve the Magpies? It feels likely, but the price tag is pretty high as teams feel out Newcastle’s new deep pockets.

Denis Zakaria to Manchester United

Manchester United could steal a march on its rivals by spending in January to land Denis Zakaria.

The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder, 25, is running down his contract in Germany and multiple sources say United is ready so send Gladbach some money now in order to secure the midfielder’s services.

Zakaria is a Swiss international who is not afraid of a tackle and is an excellent passer. He completes dribbles and read the game well, fitting into the 85th percentile in interceptions and 90th in blocks according to FBRef.

That same site compares him favorably to… Scott McTominay, a player who’s been well-rated by Ralf Rangnick and called a potential future captain of the club.

Rangnick knows the Bundesliga well and spending on Zakaria could be shrewd if the midfielder can be convinced to forego having his choice of destinations, having been linked with Manchester City amongst other places.