Manchester City have announced the signing of Manuel Akanji from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of £15 million with £1.7 million in add-ons; the central defender joins the Premier League champions until the summer of 2027.
Akanji will wear the number 25 shirt at the Etihad Stadium.
Information emerged on Tuesday afternoon via The Athletic's Sam Lee, Pol Ballus, and David Ornstein, who revealed that the Blues were set to sign the defender with only a year left on his deal at Dortmund.
Pep Guardiola has negotiated the side's latest fixtures with only two senior centre-backs in Ruben Dias and John Stones, owing to injuries for Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte; the latter only likely to only return towards the end of September or early October.
Academy graduate Luke Mbete had been expected by many supporters to fill in as the team's fifth choice centre-back and has featured in numerous matchday squads for Guardiola, but the 18-year-old is expected to complete a season-long loan move to Huddersfield to fast-track his development.
Akanji, a senior Switzerland international, had been a first-team regular at BVB before the club signed central defenders Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck in the summer and has not signed a new deal at the Westfalenstadion – making him available for a similar fee to which he was bought from Basel for in 2018.
Speaking to the club website, the 27-year-old expressed his delight at joining the Blues:
"I am delighted to be here, and can’t wait to get started. City have been one of the best teams in Europe over the last few seasons. They are brilliant to watch, play an exciting brand of football and compete for trophies year in, year out, so coming here feels like the perfect next step in my career. I am really looking forward to testing myself in the Premier League and I will do everything I can to help this club be successful."
"I'm really proud and really happy to be here. It was a bit unexpected in the last stage of the transfer market, but when Manchester City asked me if I wanted to come here, I had no doubts about moving here. I know the quality of this team. I'm here to prove myself as well. I want to show everyone that they were right in choosing me."
Akanji also expressed his delight at the prospect of working with Guardiola:
"Pep Guardiola is an exceptional manager, and this is an exceptional squad of players, so this is an exciting opportunity for me."
On taking that next step:
"I knew last year when I was at Borussia Dortmund that I wanted to make the next step in my career. I wanted to get better. Now moving here to Manchester City under the command of Pep Guardiola, it can't get better than that. The combination of the coach and the club is perfect for me. I'm really looking forward to working with him and the rest of the coaching staff and my teammates."
City style of play:
"Yes, I love the way Manchester City play. 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."
Reunited with Erling Haaland:
"He has an amazing combination of skills. He is fast and physically very strong, but he is also technically skilful. With the combination of both, he is a striker very difficult to stop. The way he uses his body makes him very hard to stop him. He keeps on working on his skills, he is still young and has so many years in front of him, but I think he will only get better."
On the signing, Director of Football Txiki Begiristain said:
"Manuel has plenty of experience playing at the top level of European football and we are confident he will be a valuable addition to our squad. We have been impressed with his performances during his time at Dortmund, where he has developed into a very good defender and one who is ready to perform in both the Premier League and Champions League. He has everything we want in a centre-back. He is strong, quick, comfortable in possession, has an excellent passing range and he will complement the other defenders in this team and our style of play."
The arrival of Akanji likely marks an end to the club's significant transfer business for the summer as the central defender becomes the sixth major signing of the window and the third acquisition from the Bundesliga.
Written by: @NA1907_
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