Dortmund bring in Akanji

Manuel Akanji

Borussia Dortmund have bolstered their defensive options with the signing of Manuel Akanji on a four-and-a-half year contract from Swiss champions FC Basel.

The 22-year-old centre-back drew the attention of Europe’s top clubs after helping the RotBlau win the domestic double last season, while he featured in the UEFA Champions League group stages this term.

Akanji brings to an end a two-and-a-half year spell at St Jakob-Park, where he won back-to-back Swiss Super League titles following his switch from Winterthur in 2015.

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Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc expressed his delight at the deal and hopes the Switzerland international will make further progress at Signal Iduna Park.

“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,” Zorc told the club’s official website.

“He has already demonstrated at international and Champions League level that he can play at the highest level in Europe. Nonetheless, we still see him as a defender who has potential for further development.”

Akanji added: “The discussions I’ve had with those responsible at Borussia Dortmund made me feel comfortable. In that respect it was a decision of the heart.

“And I’ve always enjoyed the football they play in Dortmund. I’m looking forward to my time here and will give my best.”