Arsenal have received a major transfer boost with Manuel Akanji set to leave the Borussia Dortmund this summer, Megasportsarena.com reports.
The Bundesliga side’s incoming sporting director Sebastian Kehl has revealed Akanji is refusing to sign a new deal. While Dortmund are monitoring his situation, it appears that the defender is ready to depart.
“Manuel has a contract until 2023, does not want to extend it, and there is currently nothing new. We are in close contact with him and his advisor and are waiting to see what happens now,” Kehl said.
His potential availability will be of serious interest to Arsenal who are keen to boost their options in the backline this summer. Mikel Arteta’s side have the worst defensive record in the Premier League’s top five, suggesting reinforcements are needed.
Akanji has emerged as a target for the Gunners and they have ‘put out feelers’ for the centre-half. Juventus are also understood to be eyeing the 26-year-old, but Arteta will be keen to beat off that competition to boost his defensive options.
Their poor defensive record is arguably one of the biggest weaknesses as they continue to chase a place in next season’s Champions League. While Ben White and Gabriel have become a solid partnership, Arteta’s options behind that duo are much poorer, highlighted by Rob Holding’s dreadful display in the defeat to Tottenham last Thursday.
Akanji has been at Dortmund since 2018, and has been one of their starting centre-backs when fit this season. But his contract is about to enter its final year and there are major doubts that he will agree to extend his stay with Marco Rose ‘s side.
While it has been a disappointing first campaign under Rose’s management, Akanji has impressed, drawing admiring glances from the likes of the Gunners. With that interest in mind, Akanji is now looking at making a step to a different club.
A move to the Premier League appears to be Akanji’s primary wish, and a fee in the region of £21million appears to be the price that would see him move on.