Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji has set his sights on playing for Manchester United.
The 23-year-old Swiss centre-back has developed rapidly with Dortmund after signing from Basel for €21.5million.
Akanji, who was mentioned as a Liverpool target, signed a deal through to June 2022 and Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc revealed at the time there was heavy competition for his signature in January.
Zorc said: “Manuel’s performances put him on the radar of a number of top European clubs, and we’re delighted that he’s chosen to join us.”
Akanji made 10 Bundesliga starts last term, but already he has made 10 starts this time around and is developing into a key man for Dortmund.
“I have a big dream,” Akanji told NZZ. “To get as far as possible in football. Since my childhood days Manchester United have been my favourite club. I’d like to play there one day.
“But right now, that’s not an issue. I am happy at Dortmund and try to be the best possible person off the pitch.”
Akanji, who has paid tribute to coach Lucien Favre, even took over the captaincy when Marco Reus was substituted against Nurnberg recently.
“I feel from the coach that as a centre-back I should also play a part in the attacking game,” Akanji said. “I have a lot of liberties under Favre and he gives me the belief to start plays from the back.”
“But I also must take on more responsibility in defence. At 23, I am the eldest of the two centre-backs. I was the junior last season. I like having more responsibility. I must coach more than before,” added Akanji.