Borussia Dortmund beat Liverpool, Manchester United to Manuel Akanji signing

Borussia Dortmund beat Liverpool, Manchester United to Manuel Akanji signing”

FC Basel central defender Manuel Akanji, whose father is Nigerian, is close to joining top German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund for a record transfer fee of 21.5 million Euros, according to various media reports. The young defender was everywhere as Basel fought a desperate rearguard for much of the match, helping to neutralise Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard with his agility, calmness and shrewd reading of the game.

"I felt very good during the talks with the Dortmund managers".

So too were Tottenham and Liverpool for that matter, with Akanji seemingly destined for a move to the Premier League as the January transfer window grew near.

"He has proven with the [Swiss] national team and in the Champions League that he can play at the highest level in Europe. Nevertheless, we see him as a defender who has potential to develop". So it was an easy decision. "And I've always liked the football played in Dortmund", Akanji told the club site. "I am looking forward to my time here, and will give it my all".

Akanji has played every minute of Basle's league games aside from one as well as all six of their Champions League group games, including the 1-0 victory over Manchester United in November.

Basel will face Manchester City in the knockout stage of the Champions League next month.

Akanji had been targeted by Liverpool as backup in case they failed to secure Virgil van Dijk.

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