Denis Zakaria finds himself in a group that no player wants to be in — he’s come back from a loan spell and immediately knows that his future isn’t at the club that returned to. Like two other midfielders at Juventus who spent at least a portion of the 2022-23 season on loan in the Premier League, Zakaria may be “back” at Juventus but his future is very much not in Turin.
As the official opening of the summer transfer window gets closer, it looks as though he might already have an out.
According to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio on Monday, Juventus and West Ham United are in talks for transfer regarding the 26-year-old Zakaria, who arrived in Turin in January of 2022 and never truly settled in with Max Allegri. Unlike when Zakaria moved to Chelsea on loan with an option to buy — which obviously wasn’t taken up and why he’s back at Juve again — West Ham is looking to buy the Swiss midfielder outright this summer as they look to upgrade their roster following their win over Fiorentina in the Conference League final that clinched a Europa League berth.
No price has been thrown out there in terms of what West Ham has offered for Zakaria as the two sides open talks. It has been previously reported in the Italian media that Juve are looking for a transfer fee of around €20 million if they are able to sell him outright.
Juve are in the situation they find themselves in with Zakaria because of just how poorly things went for him during his season on loan with Chelsea. It took him weeks to even make his debut with the Blues — who, as you remember, were basically a disaster from the beginning of the season until the final weekend — and only amassed all of 11 appearances in all competitions.
In total, Zakaria played all of 722 minutes during his stint with Chelsea.
But, the lack of minutes last season apparently has deterred another London-based club in the Premier League to go after Zakaria. West Ham has proven to be one of the clubs most consistently linked with Zakaria over the last couple of weeks, and clearly the hope from Juventus’ point of view is to get a deal done as soon as possible so that they can check at least one name off the list of players they need to sell this summer.
Di Marzio says that Juventus and West Ham have already held a pair of phone calls since opening negotiations. Let’s hope the next phone call or two go as well as the first couple have.