Borussia Dortmund star Manuel Akanji has emerged as a potential transfer alternative for Manchester United this summer.
According to an exclusive report from 90 Min, Manchester United have stepped up their pursuit of a new central defender in the upcoming summer transfer window. The club has already prioritised a move for both Jules Kounde and Pau Torres, but in Manuel Akanji, they have identified a potential alternative.
The Borussia Dortmund star was linked with a move to England during his initial rise to prominence at FC Basel. He eventually decided to join the Bundesliga outfit, in search of a bigger breakthrough. He has now emerged as one of the main protagonists of the BVB backline that has fared better than Bayern Munich this campaign.
It appears Manchester United have been attracted by Akanji’s fluid style of defending, as the centre-back boasts terrific decision-making skills and is often quite firm in his tackles. Having been playing alongside Mats Hummels for a few years now, the Swiss international has also honed the game-reading ability that has seen him intercept multiple forward balls by the opposition this season.
However, what makes Akanji such an appealing target for Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer is his imposing 1.87m presence at the back that not only makes him a threat in the air but also an intimidating presence for the opposing attackers. It should serve him well in the physically-astute nature of the Premier League.
Manchester United have already grown frustrated with the repeated lack of consistency from their main centre-backs this season, including Victor Lindelof. It has left Solskjaer scouring the market for an ideal replacement, with Akanji potentially appearing as a decent cost-effective alternative for top targets like Kounde and Torres, who is valued at around €60 million by Villarreal.
As iterated earlier, Akanji boasts all the credentials to become an asset in the Premier League. And at the age of 25, he could be an ideal long-term alternative for the likes of Lindelof and Eric Bailly.
Bailly has even been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, having grown frustrated due to the lack of game-time offered to him this season. As a result, Akanji could emerge as a direct replacement for the Ivorian, offering much more technical ability alongside the more robust nature of Harry Maguire.
As far as his valuation goes, Borussia Dortmund won’t likely mind offloading the Swiss international for somewhere around €25 million – €30 million as the incoming new coach Marco Rose looks to ring in the changes. It could be exciting times for both the player as well as the two clubs involved in this transfer saga.