Manuel Akanji has joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund on a five-year contract, with the Switzerland defender expressing his delight after becoming Pep Guardiola’s fifth summer signing.
Injuries to Nathan Aké and Aymeric Laporte may have moved the manager to add further depth to his defence. The 27-year-old follows Kalvin Phillips, Stefan Ortega, Sergio Gómez and Erling Haaland, who was also signed from Dortmund, in joining City during this window.
Akanji said: “I am delighted to be here and can’t wait to get started. City have been one of the best teams in Europe over the last few seasons. They are brilliant to watch, play an exciting brand of football and compete for trophies year in, year out. Pep Guardiola is an exceptional manager and this is an exceptional squad of players so this is an exciting opportunity for me.”
Txiki Begiristain, City’s sporting director, said: “He has everything we want in a centre-back. He is strong, quick, comfortable in possession, has an excellent passing range and he will complement other defenders in our team and our style of play.”
Akanji made 158 appearances for Dortmund and has 41 Switzerland caps. He began his career at Winterthur in 2014 before moving to Basel, where he claimed consecutive Swiss Super Leagues.
Akanji becomes the fifth centre-back in City’s squad, joining Laporte, Aké, Rúben Dias and John Stones.
City’s 19-year-old winger Sam Edozie and 18-year-old defender Juan Larios have signed for Southampton in deals that give City buy-back and sell-on clauses. The fee for Edozie could rise to £10m and Larios has cost £6m. City have also loaned the 18-year-old defender Lucas Mbete to Huddersfield.
After Haaland’s second league hat-trick in five days, in Wednesday’s 6-0 win over Nottingham Forest, the striker has nine goals in five matches. Bernardo Silva joked about how many the Norwegian could score in the upcoming months.
“I hope 50 or 60 by Christmas,” he said. “He’s playing well. In the games he’s even better [than in training] in terms of when he gets pressure, he deals with it very well.
“You can see in his face the way he wants to score, how aggressive he is inside the box and that is great to have. He’s so good, so quick, so strong. His hunger for goals, he always wants more and to have a striker like him in our team is just great. Especially in the last two games he was unbelievable.”
Julián Álvarez scored twice against Forest and Silva said: “It’s nice to have two strikers like them that smell [the goal] and know where to be in the box.”