Official | Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji joins Manchester City

Borussia Dortmund has this morning announced the departure of Manuel Akanji (27) to Premier League side Manchester City for a reported fee of €18m. The Switzerland international defender has signed a five-year contract until 2027.

In addition, Manchester City will pay €2m in unspecified ‘add-ons’ as Kicker reported. With just one-year left on the defender’s contract, the transfer will be a boost for new sporting director Sebastian Kehl and will be welcome income to the club that reported a loss of €35m for the 2021/22 season.

“I watch a lot of Premier League and obviously a lot of Manchester City games, because they have been champions many times in recent years. “I really like the football style the team plays, and I think I can fit perfectly in that style,” Akanji told the club’s website.

Sporting director Txiki Begiristain added: “Manuel has plenty of experience at the top level in European football, we have been impressed with his performances at Dortmund where he has developed into a player who is ready to perform in both the Premier and Champions Leagues.”

Manchester City already has four centre-backs at the club – John Stones, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte. But the latter two are injured and Laporte is yet to feature this season.

It’s therefore likely that Akanji could be seen as an ideal option to add more depth to that area of the pitch for Guardiola’s men. Akanji finished the last campaign having made 36 appearances across all competitions.

Along with Sergio Gómez, İlkay Gündoğan and Erling Haaland, the Swiss defender is the fourth former BVB player in Guardiola’s current squad

BVB signed defenders Nico Schlotterbeck from Freiburg and Niklas Süle from Bayern Munich in the summer and the Swiss defender has not featured in any of the league matches this season despite Süle being injured.

On Akanji’s departure, Kehl added: “We thank Manuel for his contribution and wish him every success, except in games against BVB of course, for the future.”

For the 41 time Swiss international, moving to the Premier League is the fulfilment of a long-held ambition.

In a 2018 interview the Swiss defender revealed that his favourite club is the other Manchester club, United, at least he will get to regularly play against them.

Akanji played 119 games for BVB since joining from FC Basel and won the 2021 DFB Pokal and the 2019 DFL Supercup during his time with the Signal-Iduna-Park based club.

Ben McFadyean

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