According to reports, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are close to signing centre-back Manuel Akanji.
The 27-year-old’s future with the German powerhouses has been in doubt all summer long because he is currently in the final year of his contract. The Switzerland international has been connected with teams including Manchester United, Arsenal, Juventus, and Inter Milan, with a rumour from last month saying that he would prefer a move to Old Trafford.
However, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Man City and Dortmund are currently in talks for a €17.5 million (£14.6 million) transfer for Akanji. Moreover, both parties are hopeful that a deal can be achieved before the transfer deadline.
Erling Braut Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Stefan Ortega, and Sergio Gomez have all joined the Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium thus far this summer. Before Thursday’s transfer deadline, manager Pep Guardiola would not rule out making additional acquisitions,
telling reporters at a press conference on Tuesday:
“I don’t know what will happen.”
There are currently four first-team central defenders on City’s roster, although Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are both sidelined due to injury. After having knee surgery in the summer, Laporte is yet to appear for the Citizens this year, and Ake was taken off during the first half of their 3-3 tie with Newcastle United due to a groyne injury.
Thus, Manuel Akanji’s move makes sense for Man City if they could lure his services before the transfer deadline.
Will Manuel Akanji turn out to be a good move for Man City?
While Ruben Dias and John Stones were both available to start and play the full 90 minutes in City’s 4-2 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace last weekend. Luke Mbete, a recent academy graduate, is also out after suffering a concussion in a friendly against Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Akanji has yet to play a single game for Dortmund this season due to uncertainty surrounding his future, with the Bundesliga club reportedly open to offers for the center-back.
Before joining Dortmund in the summer of 2018, Akanji started his professional career in his home country of Switzerland and spent time with both Winterthur and Basel.
The 6ft 2in defender has featured in 158 games for BVB in all competitions, including 36 last season. He has been a first-team regular at Westfalenstadion for the last four seasons.
The additions of Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck have caused Akanji to drop down the pecking order, and head coach Edin Terzic prefers the veteran defender Mats Hummels above him.
Meanwhile, Guardiola has stated again that Barcelona-linked Bernardo Silva will be staying at Man City, telling reporters:
“With Bernardo I said many times how important he is for us. Just one, two days finally the window will be over and everyone will be focused on what we have to do.”
The Citizens will host newly promoted Nottingham Forest at the Etihad on Wednesday night in an effort to pick up their fourth Premier League victory in five games this season.
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