Freiburg have confirmed the signing of Germany defender Matthias Ginter, who will join from Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the season.

Ginter came through the Freiburg academy and made his Bundesliga bow for the club at the age of 18 in January 2012, scoring the winner against Augsburg.

He went on to make 81 appearances for Freiburg before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2014 and played 102 times across three seasons, helping them to a DFB-Pokal triumph in 2017.

Ginter switched to Gladbach ahead of the 2017-18 season and established himself as a key player in defence, and has made 46 appearances for Germany.

However, it was confirmed earlier in the season that the 28-year-old would not be signing a new deal with Gladbach, and Freiburg announced on Wednesday that he will be making a return to his first club.

 

"I wanted to do something special in my career, and there's nothing more meaningful to me than a return to my home," Ginter said.

"The development the club has undergone, as well as the potential in the team and the discussions with the club over the last weeks have been great. To find something like that in my hometown, especially nowadays, is extremely rare. It was just a perfect fit all round."

Ginter could well be playing in the Champions League next season, with Freiburg sitting in fourth place after a superb season.

They have won three of their last four Bundesliga games – drawing the other one against Gladbach – and hold a one-point advantage over RB Leipzig and a three-point lead over sixth-placed Cologne, while they are three behind Bayer Leverkusen, who they face in a potentially huge clash in the final game of the league season after a contest with seventh-placed Union Berlin on Saturday.

That will not be the last match of Freiburg's campaign, however, as they also have a DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig to look forward to on May 21. It will be their first appearance in the final of the competition.

Borussia Monchengladbach have confirmed Denis Zakaria will leave the club at the end of the season.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Germany international Matthias Ginter revealed on Instagram that he will be letting his contract expire in 2022.

Switzerland international Zakaria has been with the club since joining from Young Boys in 2017 and has largely been a regular throughout his time with Die Fohlen.

The 25-year-old defensive midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, has been linked with several of the world's biggest clubs, such as fellow Bundesliga side Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus.

While no club has yet emerged as the favourite to land Zakaria, he has at least provided clarity to Gladbach as he prepares to enter the final six months of his contract.

A statement on Gladbach's website read: "Denis Zakaria… has informed Borussia that he would like to leave the club after five years in the summer."

Sporting director Max Eberl expressed his satisfaction with having matters resolved ahead of the second half of the season, with Gladbach languishing just two points above the bottom three at the halfway stage.

"I told the boys in no uncertain terms that I would like everything that has nothing to do with Borussia and the second half of the season to be clarified by the end of this year," Eberl said.

"I want everyone to focus on the club, the second half of the season and this situation. The players should use the next few days to clarify their concerns left and right, and we will also make a few decisions so that we can start preparing for the second half of the season cleanly and clearly."

Like Ginter, Zakaria will be able to begin negotiating with other clubs once he enters the final six months of his contract – which expires on June 30 – later this week.

Whoever lands Zakaria will be adding a potentially formidable option to their midfield.

 

Nominally a defensive midfielder, Zakaria sees plenty of the ball and is good with his distribution: he averages 52.3 passes every 90 minutes and 47.1 successful ones, the latter being the ninth-most this season among Bundesliga midfielders with at least 500 minutes played.

He is just as comfortable carrying the ball, however.

Among the same group of players, only seven average more than his two successful dribbles every 90 minutes – all of those are more attack-minded players, such as Jamal Musiala, Christopher Nkunku, Jude Bellingham and Florian Wirtz.

When compared only with players who generally occupy central or defensive midfield roles, Zakaria comes out on top for total carries (208), and is well clear in terms of carry distance, his 2,407.3 metres being 400 metres more than anyone else.

He has also progressed the ball further up the pitch (1,227m) than any other comparable player, with Suat Serdar the only other similar midfielder to surpass 1,000m, highlighting his importance to getting Gladbach on the front foot.

While Zakaria is helped in these metrics by the fact he has played at centre-back this season, that does only account for a short amount of time in the grand scheme.

Gladbach are having a poor season, but Zakaria is managing to show his strengths.

Leeds United winger Raphinha is drawing plenty of attention.

The Brazilian debuted for his country in October and has scored two goals in five caps.

Raphinha joined Leeds from Rennes on a four-year deal in 2020.

And, having seen his career hit new heights since that move, he does not appear to be desperate for another switch.

TOP STORY - RAPHINHA NOT PUSHING FOR LEEDS EXIT

Brazil international Raphinha will not push for a January move away from Leeds United according to the Mirror.

Raphinha has been linked with moves to both Liverpool and Bayern Munich during the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old's agent has spoken about his ambition, but he is content at Leeds who are battling relegation.

 

ROUND-UP

Inter are angling to sign Germany international Matthias Ginter as a free agent in the middle of next year claims Fabrizio Romano. Ginter confirmed on Tuesday he would leave Borussia Monchengladbach when his contract expires at the end of this season.

- Gerard Moreno reports that Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has reached an in-principle agreement to join Barcelona in the close-season.

Sevilla are considering a bid to sign Barcelona defender Mika Marmol, according to Diario Sport.

Everton want to land Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on loan in January, says The Telegraph.

- Sky Sport Italia claims MLS club Toronto are in advanced talks with Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne and Torino striker Andrea Belotti.

Matthias Ginter has confirmed he will not be renewing his contract with Borussia Monchengladbach and will therefore leave the German club at the end of the season.

The 46-cap Germany international has spent the last four and a half seasons with Gladbach, having arrived from rivals Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

However, Ginter has been touted as a target for Serie A giants Inter and a number of other heavyweight clubs across Europe ahead of the January transfer window.

And following months of speculation over his contract situation, the 27-year-old announced on social media on Tuesday that he will not be putting pen to paper on fresh terms.

"After long deliberations, I have decided not to renew my expiring contract," he posted on Instagram. 

"After five fantastic years at Borussia Monchengladbach, it is difficult for me to take this step, but I've decided upon a different path for my personal and professional development.

"I owe a lot to the fans of Borussia and shall always carry this club in my heart. Now I will go with a full head of steam into the second half of the season. 

"Those who know me know that I will give everything to accomplish the goals still possible in this season together with everyone else."

Ginter has made 165 appearances for Gladbach since joining in July 2017, 141 of those coming in the Bundesliga – the 12th most of any player in the division over that period.

He has featured 15 times in the German top flight in 2021-22 and ranks joint-sixth for aerial duels won (43) among defenders, seventh for successful passes (863) and ninth for touches (1,219).

Dusan Vlahovic has already made it clear he will not re-sign with Fiorentina.

The in-demand Serbia international is wanted by a host of European clubs.

Juventus are reportedly ready to make their move.

 

TOP STORY – VLAHOVIC TO TURIN IN JANUARY?

Juventus are eyeing a January swoop for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, according to Tuttosport.

Vlahovic has no plans to re-sign with Fiorentina and the Serbia forward has been linked to Juve, Inter, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

But Juve are believed to be desperate to prise Vlahovic from Florence amid their struggles, while Gazzetta dello Sport claims contact has already been made.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Star reports Manchester United have cooled their interest in Antonio Conte as a possible replacement for under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to his expensive demands. Zinedine Zidane, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino have also been linked.

Real Madrid and Liverpool are considering moves for United midfielder Paul Pogba, says Ekrem Konur. Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and he has been linked with Barcelona, PSG and Juventus also.

- ESPN claims Chelsea and Newcastle United have been sounded out over their possible interest in struggling Madrid star Eden Hazard.

- Serie A rivals Inter and Juve are set to battle it out to sign Borussia Monchengladbach star Matthias Ginter, per Sport Bild.

Nicolo Barella will sign his new Inter deal next week, according to Fabrizio Romano. Barella had been linked with the likes of PSG, Atletico and Liverpool.

Could Jurgen Klopp and Robert Lewandowski be set to work together again?

The pair enjoyed a successful partnership at Borussia Dortmund.

Now, Klopp is reportedly trying to lure the Bayern Munich forward to Liverpool.

 

TOP STORY – KLOPP WANTS LEWANDOWSKI REUNION

Liverpool are targeting Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, according to Fichajes.

Lewandowski worked with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern in 2014.

There has been talk Lewandowski could be ready for a new challenge amid links to Real Madrid and Manchester City, though Klopp is reportedly determined to reunite with the Poland international.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bild claims Dortmund have identified Chelsea forward Timo Werner as a possible option to replace Erling Haaland. Club are queueing up to sign Haaland, with City, Manchester United, Bayern, Liverpool, Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly interested. Should Haaland leave Dortmund, the Bundesliga outfit reportedly see former RB Leipzig star Werner as a potential successor.

- Fabrizio Romano says Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is nearing a contract extension at San Siro. He has reportedly turned down offers from Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.

Bayern, Inter, Real Madrid and Tottenham are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter, reports Calciomercato.

Chelsea are looking to sign Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to new contracts, according to Romano.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.