Arsenal ‘are offered the chance to sign £21m Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji this summer’… but the Gunners ‘will turn the German giants down because Mikel Arteta wants a left-footed centre back instead’
- Manuel Akanji has been told he can leave after Marco Rose was sacked
- Arsenal are rumoured to have been offered the out-of-favour Dortmund player
- Mikel Arteta is said to be chasing a left-footed centre back this summer
Arsenal have reportedly turned down the chance to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.
Akanji, 26, who is said to have fallen out of favour at the club after the sacking of Marco Rose and the acquisitions of Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck, is being touted to clubs in the Premier League by his representatives.
According to The Mirror, however, Arsenal have turned down the chance to bring the Switzerland international to the Emirates.
Manuel Akanji, 26, is reportedly being offered to clubs in the Premier League this summer
The centre back, who is an international team-mate of Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, is not said to be the defender Mikel Arteta desires this summer.
The young manager is believed to want a left-footed centre back to cover for Gabriel, with right-footed Frenchman William Saliba returning from his successful loan spell at Marseille.
Dortmund’s asking price of around £21m for Akanji is not thought to make the defender any more attractive to the north London club as they try to navigate their way through a difficult market having missed out on Champions League football.
The Switzerland international defender is, however, not thought to be on Arsenal’s radar
Arsenal have been aided by the willingness of Saliba to return, with the Frenchman admitting he ‘belongs’ to Arsenal and that, with two years left on his current deal, his immediate future lies with Arsenal.
‘I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left,’ Saliba said.
‘I will be back with Arsenal. I have played zero matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.
Manuel Akanji is interested in a Premier League move and is said to be of interest to Manchester United
‘But it doesn’t just depend on me. In any case, to leave like this, would be a shame.’
It is likely Saliba will compete with Ben White for the right-sided spot, with Arteta scouring the market for appropriate competition for Gabriel.
The future of Rob Holding amid rumours of Arsenal moves for various defensive targets is unclear.
Manchester United have also been linked to Akanji, but it appears Erik ten Hag will look to resolve other problem areas before moving to shore up his back line.
Frenkie de Jong and the Ajax forward Antony are amongst a host of names being touted for moves to Manchester United this summer.
William Saliba has confirmed he will ‘be back with Arsenal’ next season following successful spell on loan with Marseille