Report: Liverpool viewed 'outstanding' star as an alternative to van Dijk, now Arsenal want to sign him
German outlet BILD revealed earlier this week that Arsenal and Manchester United are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.
The 26-year-old Swiss international has been a solid player for Dortmund over the last four years. He has played 156 times for the Bundesliga giants and is a star there, but it looks like his time at the Westfalenstadion is about to come to an end.
Akanji will enter the final year of his contract this summer and it has been claimed that he will leave Dortmund. Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly keen to sign him, and we expect a few more clubs to join the race as well.
Liverpool, however, will not be one of them, but Jurgen Klopp’s side really fancied him back in 2017.
Liverpool viewed Manuel Akanji as an alternative to Virgil van Dijk
Just before Liverpool agreed a deal with Southampton to sign Virgil van Dijk for £75 million in December 2017 (BBC), it did seem like a move for the Dutchman would not be possible.
Just about a week after the report came out, Liverpool announced the signing of van Dijk, and that eliminated the need for Akanji, who went to Borussia Dortmund in the following summer.
Akanji, branded as ‘outstanding’ by Stephane Henchoz, is a very good defender, there’s no doubt about that. He would fit in well in the Premier League and it is no surprise that there are clubs keen to sign him.
However, do Arsenal really need him?
Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes have formed a phenomenal partnership at the back for the Gunners, while Rob Holding has done really well when called upon this season. The Gunners will also have William Saliba back this summer, who, in our opinion, is already a better defender than Akanji.
Unless Arteta decides to sell both Holding and Saliba, they don’t really need another centre-half, even though Akanji is an excellent player.
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