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Manchester United to rival Serie A behemoths for Swiss star playing in Germany

Manuel Akanji plays the ball during the German first division Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Manuel Akanji plays the ball during the German first division Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United to rival Juventus for Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji at the end of the season

According to journalist Rudy Galetti via The Hard Tackle (h/t Manchester Evening News), Manchester United will need to prepare to battle Juventus in the transfer race to secure the services of Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.

The Switzerland international has been one of the brightest shining lights for Dortmund over the past couple of seasons, with the player putting in consistent and impressive performances on the pitch whenever called upon.

Given how unstable United’s defensive line has been this campaign, it can come as no surprise that they are interested in snapping up Akanji in the upcoming summer transfer window to bolster their rearguard ahead of the new season.

Despite signing Raphael Varane from Real Madrid last summer, the Red Devils are intent on signing another central defender this summer to improve the current state of affairs at the back, which has seen them drop crucial points this term.

Dortmund resigned to losing Akanji

The path to signing the 26-year-old may have cleared up a bit for the Manchester side, as Dortmund are said to be almost resigned to losing him in the coming months given his contract situation with the club. Next season, the Swiss star will be in the last year of his current deal at the Signal Iduna Park.

In good news for United, with the position that the Bundesliga side find themselves in, they may perhaps be willing to cash in on Akanji this summer than lose him for free next year. However, they will face competition from Juve in the battle to sign the defender, with the Turin club looking to find a younger replacement for their aged centre-back pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. 

Manchester United face competition from Juventus for Borussia Dortmund star Manuel Akanji. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester United face competition from Juventus for Borussia Dortmund star Manuel Akanji. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Varane’s arrival was widely expected to solidify United’s defence, with the former Real Madrid man’s vast experience playing in La Liga and in Europe proving to be the missing link to turn the rearguard into a strong unit. Instead, the Frenchman fell short of expectations and has struggled to play a consistent run of games due to injury issues.

The Red Devils had their problems worsened due to club captain Harry Maguire’s woeful form this term, with the Englishman looking low on form and self-confidence in matches. Victor Lindelof has done pretty well when replacing either of the two in the starting XI but his consistency remains a problem. Eric Bailly, meanwhile, seems to be completely sidelined from regular first-team action.

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Akanji could be eyed as necessary competition for these two United stars in the summer, with the ex-Basel star proving his credentials in Germany with Dortmund and on the international stage with Switzerland.

Juventus are also in need of replacements for their veteran central defensive pair, so the path to sign Akanji will not be easy. Both clubs seem to be in desperate need of reinforcements, and it may eventually boil down to which side wants the Dortmund star more to address their issues.

Brandon Williams is doing a decent job at Norwich City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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