Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd given Dortmund green light to secure summer coup in problem position

Borussia Dortmund stars Manuel Akanji and Jude Bellingham

Borussia Dortmund have okayed a summer exit for Manchester United target Manuel Akanji, and two further pieces of positive news were present in the report from Germany.

Raphael Varane was signed last summer in order to provide Harry Maguire with a world class partner. Varane is yet to hit the heights he reached at Real Madrid. However, the Frenchman is far from the biggest problem in United’s rearguard.

Maguire has endured a startling dip in form since the Euros. Maguire was again caught out earlier this week when turned by 6ft 6in Wout Weghorst in the build-up to Burnley’s equaliser at Turf Moor.

That goal cost United two vital points in their quest for top four, leading to further questions as to whether the 28-year-old is the long-term answer at centre-half.

Rio Ferdinand slammed the “small mistakes” Maguire continues to make in the post-match fallout. United have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones on the books. Though none of that trio appear to hold Ralf Rangnick’s trust.

And in further bad news for Maguire, recent reports have put United firmly in the frame to sign Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji.

Dortmund’s defence will be bolstered by the arrival of Niklas Sule next summer. The Bayern Munich man has agreed to join for free when his contract expires in five months’ time.

However, his chances of lining up alongside Swiss international Akanji appear slim.

Dortmund give Akanji green light to go

United’s interest in the 26-year-old surfaced via German journalist Patrik Berger earlier this week. Now, many of those details Berger shed light on have been backed up in Germany – including one crucial new update.

Sport Witness (citing German publication Ruhr Nachrichten) state Dortmund ‘will place Akanji on the market’ if he ‘wants to go’.

Manuel Akanji dreams to play for Manchester United

Manuel Akanji dreams to play for Manchester United

Manuel Akanji wanted by Manchester United and Ralf Rangnick

That is the clearest indication yet that a deal is there for the making if United firm up their interest.

Adding further fuel to the fire is the report’s confirmation of Berger’s prior revelations.

Akanji is again stated to have rejected a contract extension tabled by Dortmund. Furthermore, with just 17 months left on his deal, they will be left with little choice but to sell in the summer.

A fee in the region of €30m (£25.3m) is touted as being required to seal a deal. That could represent superb value in the modern market for a player who admitted he dreamed of playing for Man Utd in 2018.

Man Utd target former treble-winning manager

Meanwhile, Manchester United have installed Spain coach Luis Enrique as a leading candidate to become their new permanent manager, according to a report.

United’s players reportedly want Pochettino in the summer, while Rangnick would prefer Ajax’s Erik ten Hag.

According to ESPN, though, Man Utd chief executive Richard Arnold and the club’s Glazer family owners are also considering going after Enrique.

The 51-year-old famously took Barcelona to a treble in the 2014/15 campaign. As such, United feel he has a brilliant track record and the ability to handle world-class talent.

Red Devils chiefs are also a fan of his attacking football with a flair factor. Furthermore, United feel he has the ability to discipline his team when required in order to produce results.

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