Premier League • England

Arsenal form transfer strategy with potential risk after joining race for Man Utd-linked Akanji

Manuel Akanji on the ball for Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal are interested in competing for the signature of Manuel Akanji, according to a report that predicts his departure from Borussia Dortmund.

Akanji is about to enter the final year of his contract with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. He has represented them since 2018, but is unlikely to continue. The upcoming signings of Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck will have an adverse effect on his chances.

Having made 34 appearances across all competitions this season, the 26-year-old will not want his progress to slow. Therefore, he is unlikely to sign a new contract, which means Dortmund will probably sell him.

There have already been strong links with a transfer to Manchester United. But according to SportBild, Arsenal are also in contention to take him to the Premier League for the first time in his career.

It may be beneficial for Arsenal to add another defender to the ranks for next season. With a return to European football looking probable, they will need squad depth.

At present, the only backup they have to first-choice pairing Benjamin White and Gabriel Magalhaes is Rob Holding. There are also William Saliba and Pablo Mari out on loan, but their futures are uncertain.

Planning for all eventualities, Arsenal have put Akanji on their wish-list. However, they are yet to make a formal bid, according to SportBild.

That’s because his price tag currently stands at €25million (£21.1m). Given the lack of time remaining on his contract, Arsenal are waiting in case it drops further.

Akanji to fill one of several Arsenal transfer priorities?

There are several areas of the squad Arsenal could want to invest in this summer. A new striker will be a priority, while another central midfielder could also be useful.

Manchester United offer Manuel Akanji double his Borussia Dortmund wages

Manchester United have offered Manuel Akanji double his current Borussia Dortmund wages to sign him this summer

As they juggle all those aims, it will be important for them to be as shrewd as possible. Hence, their approach to the Akanji pursuit is probably sensible.

That said, they could risk other suitors getting involved before them. There are no mentions of any other clubs from Bild, but the previous stories about Man Utd may be some cause for concern at the Emirates Stadium.

Akanji has amassed 156 appearances for Dortmund and 39 caps for Switzerland across his career. His previous clubs were Winterthur and Basel in his native country.

Soon, it may be time for him to try his abilities in English football.

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