Borussia Dortmund Starlet Manuel Akanji Talks About Manchester United Desire

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2018

DORTMUND, GERMANY - OCTOBER 03: Manuel Akanji of Borussia Dortmund looks on during the Group A match of the UEFA Champions League between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco at Signal Iduna Park on October 3, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji has expressed his desire to play for favourite club Manchester United but stated he's happy in Germany for the time being. 

The Switzerland international has played a key role in the team's excellent start to the Bundesliga campaign and told Bluewin about his plans for the future (h/t Sport Witness' Tom Coast):

"Many know that Manchester United has been my favourite club since childhood. It would be nice to play there, but that's not an issue right now.

"I am very satisfied in Dortmund. I want to win titles with BVB and compete in many more big tournaments with the Swiss national team."

Per Goal's Harry West, the former FC Basel man was a Red Devils and Liverpool target when he moved to Signal Iduna Park in January.

The 23-year-old is relatively unknown outside of Germany and his homeland, but that should soon change. Already a crucial part of the Switzerland setup, Akanji has also started all of Dortmund's Bundesliga matches this season.

He has worked well with Dan-Axel Zagadou and Abdou Diallo, both younger players with even less experience than him. 

Akanji was a standout at the FIFA World Cup, and the UEFA Nations League's official Twitter account even posed the question as to whether he was the best young defender there:

UEFA Nations League @UEFAEURO

🇨🇭Manuel Akanji = best young defender at the World Cup? 🤔 https://t.co/LWaA2eZGwj

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe was impressed with Akanji:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

Sad way for Manuel Akanji’s excellent #WorldCup to end, the Sweden winner deflecting in off him. What a tournament it has been for him and his stock. #SUI

His stock has only gone up since, as Akanji has continued to display excellent passing range with both feet to go with impressive defensive skills. He has completed nearly 95 per cent of his passes in the Bundesliga this year, per WhoScored.com

Dortmund are top of the German league, sitting three points ahead of a cluster of teams that includes RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach. They are the only unbeaten side left, and only two clubs have conceded fewer than their eight goals.

As Coast noted, centre-back is an area of need for United. Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly haven't developed as hoped during their time at Old Trafford, and the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are a step below the elite level of defenders fans have gotten used to over the years.

United have a few talented defensive prospects on the way up―most notably Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who is on loan at Fulham―but they might add to their options via the transfer market and could do a lot worse than signing Akanji.

He's not expected to leave a rising Dortmund squad anytime soon but could be an option in the future. BVB paid £19 million for him, however, so expect them to hold out for a massive fee.