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Man Utd interested in Manuel Akanji

Manchester United have been credited with an interest in signing Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji, according to Sport1.

The Red Devils have endured a tough 2021/22 campaign where their defensive performances have been a particular concern.

They could pursue a new centre-back this summer, and it appears Akanji is one of the top players on Ralf Rangnick’s wishlist.

Interim boss Rangnick will become the club’s consultant after this season, and he is said to be ‘very interested’ in the Swiss international.

Akanji has already turned down an £8 million annual wage package from Dortmund. He is eyeing at least £10.1m per year to renew.

With his contract expiring in less than 17 months, the Bundesliga club are likely to cash in on him this summer if the stand-off continues.

Our view:

United have struggled to find a consistent and efficient central defensive partnership this season amid injuries and coronavirus.

It initially appeared Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire could be the long-term solution, but the latter has experienced an average campaign.

There have been question marks raised over the Englishman’s position in the team, and the hierarchy could recruit another centre-back.

Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are currently the back-up choices. Bailly and Jones appear most likely to leave this summer.

Akanji would be a quality addition to the squad. The 26-year-old is excellent when it comes to distribution with a 90 percent success rate this term.

He has also been solid defensively with 1.4 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per league game while winning two aerial duels in the process.

The Swiss can be regarded as an all-round defender who is comfortable with the ball at his feet, but it remains to be seen whether he is pursued.

Rangnick was unable to bring in any targets during the January transfer window as the board were reluctant to back a temporary head coach.

The German may play a part in the summer transfer business as an advisor, but the next permanent manager could ultimately have the final say.

Akanji is valued at £27m by Transfermarkt and could be available for a similar figure if he continues to decline an extension with Dortmund.

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