Chelsea 'agree loan deal' for Juventus ace Denis Zakaria as swift saga beats deadline

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Chelsea have reportedly reached an agreement with Juventus to sign Denis Zakaria on a season-long loan deal. The Blues were thought to be keeping tabs on Eredivisie stars Ibrahim Sangare and Edson Alvarez, but they were met with resistance on both fronts. 

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is evidently keen to add another midfielder to his ranks, despite already juggling established stars like Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic. Conor Gallagher is also in the mix and has been a regular fixture this term after impressing on loan at Crystal Palace in 2021/22. 

It seems as though there is no room for Billy Gilmour, however, who was once hailed as a wonderkid at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have reportedly arrived at a £9million agreement with Brighton to secure the 21-year-old’s permanent exit, which could pave the way for Zakaria to trade Turin for London. 

According to The Athletic, Chelsea made swift progress after approaching Juve for Zakaria and the midfielder is now undergoing a medical in Turin. Ajax star Alvarez and PSV maestro Sangare have also been touted as options but neither of the Dutch clubs appears ready to let their respective players go. 

Zakaria only joined Juventus in January, putting pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year contract after leaving Borussia Monchengladbach. The 25-year-old has 40 caps for the Swiss national team and, at 6ft 3in, should have no trouble adapting to the physicality of the Premier League. 

Chelsea will reportedly have the option to buy Zakaria permanently at the end of the campaign if the arrangement goes smoothly. News of the Blues’ approach was swiftly followed by confirmation of the midfielder’s medical with co-owner Todd Boehly striking quickly on deadline day. 

Zakaria has only made 13 Serie A appearances since joining Juve, scoring once. It could be that his arrival in west London effectively calls time on their pursuits of other midfielders with Sangare and Alvarez likely to stay in the Netherlands and Frenkie de Jong poised to remain with Barcelona, despite a summer of intense transfer speculation. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also join Chelsea before 11pm after a deal was struck with Barca that is set to see Marcos Alonso head to Catalonia as part of the arrangement. The forward is set for a spell on the sidelines after sustaining injuries in a violent home robbery this week but the Blues need attacking cover after loaning Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and selling Timo Werner to RB Leipzig. 

Moves for Zakaria and Aubameyang could signal the end of a huge-spending summer for the Blues and Boehly, who has not long been at the helm after taking over from Roman Abramovich. 

The likes of Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Raheem Sterling are the biggest contributors as, with Aubameyang included, Chelsea’s spend will soar towards the £300m mark as Tuchel aims to chase down title protagonists Manchester City and Liverpool. 

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