Chelsea offer midfielder to Juventus for Zakaria swap

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 1 Apr 2023 16:24 BST
  • 3 min read
Raheem Sterling, Denis Zakaria and Kai Havertz.

Chelsea could keep Denis Zakaria beyond the end of the season but they have no intention of triggering the €30 million currently required to make his loan deal from Juventus permanent.

The timing of Zakaria's Chelsea move was unfortunate for the player, with Thomas Tuchel sacked just a week after he arrived, to be replaced by Brighton's Graham Potter.

Unlike Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Zakaria has at least won Potter's trust, even if the Englishman prefers Enzo Fernandez and Mateo Kovacic in central midfield, and the Blues are reportedly interested in keeping him around.

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There are a specific set of circumstances attached to that - Chelsea need to offload players this summer with UEFA closing the loophole that saw them tie Fernandez down to an eight-and-a-half-year contract, and there is no transfer profit to be made on a player they don't own.

There is a transfer fee to be saved, however, and they plan to do so by offering one of their academy graduates as part of a swap deal, according to reports in Italy.

Loftus-Cheek as a makeweight

"In search of a possible replacement [for the out-of-contract Adrien Rabiot], the Old Lady has begun to look around and has found fertile ground in England," report Calcio Mercato.

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"The Bianconeri have loaned Denis Zakaria to Chelsea and the Blues are thinking of keeping the Swiss but they would like a discount from Juve. Both clubs could imagine the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek as a makeweight."

Loftus is valued at €11m by FootballTransfers' in-house algorithm, while Zakaria is rated at €16.8m, so the England international would make a significant dent on the total fee Chelsea would have to pay.

Zakaria also earns nearly €2m less per year than Loftus-Cheek, which, whilst nominal in the grand scheme of things, does help further balance the Blues' books.