Arsenal have reportedly been offered the chance to sign Manchester United target Manuel Akanji, with the Swiss defender seemingly free to quit Borussia Dortmund this summer
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Arsenal and United are both expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer after they missed out on qualifying for next year’s Champions League. The Gunners saw a top-four finish slip away in the final weeks of the campaign and are looking to go one better next year, while United will be hoping their new manager, Erik ten Hag, can help them recover from an awful season.
It’s common knowledge that Gunners chief Mikel Arteta is in the market for a new No.9 and midfield reinforcements this summer and a host of names, such as Gabriel Jesus, Gianluca Scamacca, Youri Tielemans and Arthur Melo, have already been linked with the Londoners.
But a new report from The Sun has claimed that the Gunners have also been approached over a potential deal for Akanji. The Borussia Dortmund defender – who is also on Manchester United’s radar – is thought to be available for a sum of around £21million this summer.
The 26-year-old was a regular starter in the Dortmund side that finished runners-up in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich last term. But Akanji has ‘been told he can leave’ the club after former head coach Marco Rose was dismissed last month. Akanji has already been pushed down the pecking order following the arrival of German internationals Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck.
As a result, Akanji’s representatives have been sounding out potential suitors in England over a switch to the Premier League. However, Arsenal are unlikely to pursue a deal for the right-footer as they continue to search for a left-footed centre-half capable of deputising for Gabriel Magalhaes.
William Saliba’s development at Marseille over the past 12 months is another reason that a swoop for Akanji is not currently on the cards. Saliba has made great strides in France and is finally primed to muscle in on the first-team at the Emirates next season.
The Frenchman had been linked with a return to Marseille, but he confirmed that he saw his future at Arsenal last week and reiterated his desire to finally prove himself in north London. Saliba said: “I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left.
“I will be back with Arsenal. I have played zero matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club. But it doesn’t just depend on me. In any case, to leave like this, would be a shame.”