Juventus’ Denis Zakaria targeted by Lens

Juventus midfielder and Switzerland international Denis Zakaria (26) features on RC Lens’ shortlist to strengthen their midfield, according to a report from Foot Mercato.

The Artois side just delivered their best-ever Ligue 1 season to date since their title-winning campaign in 1998. Lens racked up 84 points last season, coming short of Ligue 1 champions PSG by a single point. Courtesy of their second-place finish, Le Sang et Or have qualified for the Champions League group stage and are looking to strengthen their squad to compete on the domestic and continental front.

Lens have already started the revamp with the smart signing of Dutch free agent Stijn Spierings (27). However, uncertainty reigns over the future of club captain Seko Fofana (28). The Ivory Coast international, arguably one of Ligue 1’s best midfielders, is in talks over a move to PIF-funded Saudi Arabia outfit Al-Nassr, according to reports. Should Fofana remain at Lens, the Artois side are targetting the signings of at least two more midfielders and have come up with a shortlist.

Last week, Lens made an €11m bid for highly-rated Strasbourg midfielder Habib Diarra (19). However, Strasbourg owners BlueCo have reportedly frozen all departures from the club, bar the manager Frédéric Antonetti. Still, Lens are considering making an improved offer for the promising Franco-Senegalese midfielder. Lens are also monitoring Zakaria’s situation at Juventus. The Serie A club will listen to offers for the Switzerland international, who spent last season on loan at Chelsea. Zakaria is said to be considering his options.

RC Lens have also found an agreement in principle with FC Basel over Andy Diouf (20). The France U21 midfielder spent last season on loan at Basel from Rennes. That move was made permanent at the end of the current campaign for €5m, but it does not mean that Diouf will remain in Switzerland. L’Équipe report that Diouf had already agreed personal terms with Lens whilst the Artois side will reportedly strike a deal worth €10m or €12m with Basel.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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