Arsenal are plotting a summer move for Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji, with a £25 million bid in the works.
According to an exclusive report by German outlet Fussball Transfers, Manuel Akanji is the latest centre-back from Bundesliga to be linked with Arsenal. Borussia Dortmund are looking for offers upwards of £25 million to part ways with the Swiss defender in the summer transfer window.
Akanji joined Borussia Dortmund from FC Basel in January 2018, making gradual progress in the last two years. But, the current season, has seen him go in and out of the side, although Dan-Axel Zagadou’s injur has helped Akanji’s cause, with the 24-year-old managing to start 30 games in all competitions for Dortmund this term.
However, the report suggests that he could be on his way out of Westfalenstadion in the summer transfer, with the Bundesliga giants ready to sell him. Dortmund were even prepared to offload Akanji last summer before Abdou Diallo’s move to PSG forced them to keep the player. Akanji’s situation has piqued the interest of Arsenal.
By now, it is an open secret that Arsenal are in the market for a centre-back this summer, and for good reason. David Luiz was supposed to be the short-term replacement for Laurent Koscielny, but has typically blown hot and cold, while Sokratis Papastathopoulos has not fared much better.
Shkodran Mustafi has been resurgent spell since the arrival of Mikel Arteta. Meanwhile, Pablo Mari impressed in the handful of appearances he has made since joining Arsenal on loan in January, with his performances prompting Arsenal to consider a permanent deal. As for the youngsters, Calum Chambers enjoyed a good campaign before his season ending injury.
But, Rob Holding is still not ready enough to become a regular, while Konstantinos Mavropanos does not seem to have a future at the Emirates, meaning a spot could open up at the back. Also, considering Mari has barely featured against quality opposition, a permanent deal might not be a prudent move to make for Arsenal.
In such a scenario, they would need a top class addition to be the long-term partner for William Saliba, who is viewed as a solution at the heart of the defence. To that end, Dayot Upamecano has been named as the priority for Arsenal, with the Gunners even leading the race to sign him, as per reports.
However, his steep asking price has forced the north Londoners to consider alternatives, seeing as they could be restricted by a tight budget. As a result, Upamecano’s fellow Bundesliga defender Nico Elvedi recently emerged as an option for Arsenal.
Now, though, it looks like Akanji is a target, with the report suggesting that Arsenal initiated contact with Dortmund in January to discuss a summer move. The Bundesliga giants are looking for an offer around £25 million. This valuation could make Akanji, who still has his best years ahead of him, an attractive option for the Gunners.
With Dortmund open to selling the player, a summer move could be in the offing, and it remains to be seen if Arsenal make the Swiss centre-back their priority ahead of Upamecano. If so, then Akanji could be on his way to the Emirates this summer.