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Borussia Dortmund agree deal to sign Basel defender Manuel Akanji

Swiss defender Manuel Akanji (left) close to Dortmund switch

Dortmund, January 14: Southampton are all set to lose out on signing Basel defender Manuel Akanji as the 22-year-old centre-back is reportedly on the verge of joining Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

The young Swiss defender was once a target for Liverpool earlier in the window in case they could not land Virgil Van Dijk. However, after their capture of the former Celtic defender, it was reported that Southampton were looking to sign Akanji.

But now, German giants Dortmund have gone ahead in the race of signing the highly rated versatile defender and a deal looks to be completed in the coming days.

As per reports, a €21.5m deal has been agreed between the two clubs and with the defender being absent from training on Saturday (January 13), it mostly confirms that the player is on his way out of the club in this window.

The 22-year-old defender has been at the Swiss club since 2015, after joining from second-tier side Winterthur, and has been a mainstay in the side this season.

He has played all of Basle's league games aside from one as well as all six of their Champions League group games, including the famous 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League.

Dortmund as of late are having defensive issues and injury problems at the back as they are believed to be not happy with Subotic and Bartra's form thus now have decided to pursue the player who apart from centre-back can also play in the right full-back position.

He will also be the second most valuable player to be sold from a Swiss club, with Breel Embolo joining Schalke 04 for €20m earlier in Summer.

He will now have to compete with Marc Bartra, Sokratis, Ömer Toprak and Neven Subotic for a place at the back at BVB.

Akanji has appeared 25 times in all competitions for Basel so far this season, scoring twice and assisting one goal.

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    Story first published: Sunday, January 14, 2018, 13:28 [IST]
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