Arsenal and Manchester City target Denis Zakaria has told Borussia Monchengladbach that he would “prefer a transfer” away from the club this summer, according to sporting director Max Eberl.

Zakaria, 24, made two appearances for Switzerland at the European Championships this summer, and is regarded as one of Europe’s most accomplished young midfielders.

Gladbach, though, missed out on qualification for European competition by a point last season, and Zakaria is now pushing for a move elsewhere, with Arsenal and City thought to be interested.

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“With Denis, we have been trying to extend his contract since October,” Eberl told reporters.

“Denis and his management told us pretty clearly that they would prefer a transfer this summer.”

Arsenal are looking to strengthen their squad following a disappointing campaign which saw them finish 8th and fail to win a major trophy.

Mikel Arteta told The Guardian back in May: “The squad needs changing. There were already a lot of changes in December, something that has not been done in years, but it tells us where we were. Things are going to have to change and the owners are going to back it up.

“Time is catching up right now. It’s a trend, it’s years now that this has been happening. If the distance and the margins with the rest become too big, then it’s almost impossible to do it.

“We are still on time and we have put some very strong pillars and foundations in the last few months to do what we have to do.”

So far this summer, Arsenal have completed two signings: Nuno Tavares from Benfica (£8m) and Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht (£19m).

They have also secured a five-year contract extension for Emile Smith Rowe, who will wear the No 10 shirt next season.

Arteta said of the positive news: “I know the fans will join us in being delighted that Emile has committed his future to the club.

“We’re now looking forward to helping him develop further and seeing him become even more important to the strong young team we’re building.”

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