Manchester City have completed the signing of Manuel Akanji from Borussia Dortmund, with the Swiss moving to England in a £15 million ($17m) deal.
The 27-year-old has signed a five-year contract with the reigning Premier League champions through to the summer of 2027. He will add even greater depth to a star-studded squad at the Etihad Stadium that already includes centre-half options such as Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte.
THE BIGGER PICTURE:
Akanji has spent the last four-and-a-half years in Germany, taking in 158 appearances for Dortmund. He has 41 caps for Switzerland to his name and will be another experienced option for Pep Guardiola to call upon – with it announced that he will be taking on the Blues’ No.25 shirt.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Akanji has said: “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. Pep Guardiola is an exceptional manager and this is an exceptional squad of players, so this is an exciting opportunity for me. 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.”
GOAL‘s Man City correspondent, Jonathan Smith, says: “Even Akanji admitted the move to City was ‘a bit unexpected’, particularly after Guardiola said that transfer business was done for the window. City have four senior centre-backs but injuries to Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake have stretched resources and left them with just John Stones and Ruben Dias.
“But with such an intense pre-World Cup schedule, City clearly think it’s an area where they need extra protection, particularly after last season when they almost blew the title in the final weeks of the season when they were short of cover. With the rest of the squad starting so well, the centre of defence is a position where they can afford to be overly cautious and in Akanji they have have an experienced option, for a good price who can quickly settle into the team.”
WHAT NEXT FOR MAN CITY?
The Blues are not expected to be too busy on deadline day, with an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 Premier League season suggesting that they are well placed to defend a domestic crown.