Arsenal ‘offered Dortmund star up for sale for £21m’ but could get even cheaper deal

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Arsenal have reportedly been offered Borussia Dortmund centre-back Manuel Akanji for £21million. But the player’s representatives believe the Gunners can get an even bigger bargain as they are confident Dortmund’s asking price will drop in the coming weeks.

Akanji was a regular at the heart of the Dortmund defence last season and racked up 36 appearances for his team, with five of those coming in the Champions League. But, according to The Sun, he has now been told he can leave the club following the sacking of head coach Marco Rose and the recent signings of Germany internationals Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck.

Akanji’s representatives are now targeting a transfer to the Premier League and want to line up a move to Arsenal. And they will highlight the fact that the player’s Switzerland team-mate Granit Xhaka is already plying his trade at the Emirates Stadium.

But the north London side are unlikely to commit to a deal as they are currently searching for a left-footed centre-back – and Akanji is right-footed.

Akanji joined Dortmund from Basel in January 2018 and has since been a regular starter for the club. But his contract is set to expire next summer – and his career in Germany could be coming to a premature end.

The 26-year-old, who has won 39 caps for Switzerland and played every minute of his country’s Euro 2020 campaign last summer, is likely to have plenty of options, with Manchester United said to be interested in signing him. It remains to be seen whether he will get his dream move to England in the coming months.

Towards the end of last season, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spoke about his desire to build a stronger squad at the Emirates. And he will now have to decide whether Akanji fits into his transfer plan.

“We want to make the squad stronger, we want to make the starting XI stronger, we want to make the specificity and the personality of our players stronger – and that’s what we are going to be seeking to do,” Arteta revealed in May.

“It will depend on many factors – how many players are back from their loans, with the commitments we still have with them, our financial position in relation to where we finish, the clubs’ demands when we want to buy players or sell players.

“The good thing is that the plan is clear. But the plan is just the plan until you start to work through that plan. Then, every decision and every situation is going to allow you – or not allow you – to be as close as possible to that plan, which is our aim.”

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