Dortmund complete £20m Manuel Akanji deal

Manuel AkanjiBorussia Dortmund have completed the signing of 22-year-old Nigeria born centre-back Manuel Akanji from Basle.

The Swiss defender has joined the German side in a deal worth £20million and looked delighted as he posed with his new club’s shirt.

Dortmund also shared an image of Akanji undergoing his medical and their new man has been handed the number 16 jersey.

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

He had also been considered by a host of Premier League clubs including Southampton, West Ham and West Brom but Dortmund moved quickly to line up the highly-rated 6ft 2ins Switzerland international.

Akanji who born of a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother has  been at Basle since 2015, after joining from Swiss second tier side Winterthur, and was quickly established as a key member of their defence.

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

Dortmund have moved to solidify their defence and recover their poor season, as they currently find themselves 15 points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

In May 2007 Akanji changed clubs and is a youth exponent from FC Winterthur. During his early years he played for their U-18 team and later with their second team. In the 2014–15 Challenge League he was in Winterthur’s starting eleven, having played two games for them during the previous season.

On 15 April 2015 it was announced that Akanji would transfer to Basel for the 2015–16 Super League season.

He made his Swiss Super League debut on 26 September 2015 being substituted in against FC Lugano. Under trainer Urs Fischer Akanji won the Swiss Super League championship at the end of the 2015–16 Super League season and at the end of the 2016–17 Super League season for the second time.

At the international level aside from playing for Switzerland Under 20 and 21 respectively, he made his debut for the Switzerland senior team in the 2-0 win over Faroe Islands in the World Cup qualification tie on June 9 last year, playing for the entire 90 minutes.