Manchester United have been handed a boost in signing Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji during this summer’s transfer window.
The Swiss has been with the Bundesliga giants for the past four years, but is now eyeing a bigger challenge after snubbing a contract renewal.
With less than 15 months remaining on his current deal, Dortmund are widely expected to sanction his sale at the end of the campaign.
United have been deemed as one of the main contenders to land his services. They have now received a boost ahead of the summer.
According to Sport1 journalist Patrick Berger via BVB Newsblog, Akanji would like the ‘next step’ in his career and is considering a ‘move to England’.
Akanji has been one of Bundesliga’s best centre-backs when it comes to distribution. This campaign, he has completed over 90 per cent of his passes with six long balls per game.
Aside from this, he has also been solid defensively, winning a combined three tackles and interceptions per game alongside two aerial duels and as many clearances.
Hence, the 26-year-old has been a solid presence in both aspects. His main strength has lied with his ball-carrying ability, something which may have caught United’s eye.
When compared to Harry Maguire, both have won similar percentage of duels this term (65), but Akanji has managed more passes (68) than the United captain (45).
The Swiss has also delivered more balls into the opposition half (22 to Maguire’s 16), and has not been directly involved in an error contributing to a goal or a shot.
Akanji could be a potential upgrade on Maguire if United opt for another centre-back. He could be prised away for a cut-price fee of around £21 million this summer.
The defender will, however, demand a significant pay rise. It has been claimed that United are willing to offer him £160,000-a-week to make the switch to Old Trafford.
Stats from SofaScore.com and WhoScored.com