Manchester City bolster defence by signing Dortmund’s Akanji

LONDON – Manchester City strengthened their injury-hit defence on Thursday by signing Swiss international Manuel Akanji on a five-year deal from Borussia Dortmund.

Akanji will provide the Premier League champions with extra defensive depth after recent injuries to centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.

“I am to be here, and can’t wait to get started,” Akanji, who cost City a reported £17 million (S$27.6 million) told the club’s website.

“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, so coming here feels like the perfect next step in my career.”

The 27-year-old spent four-and-a-half seasons with Dortmund after joining from Basel in 2018.

Akanji is City’s fifth summer signing after former Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez and Stefan Ortega Moreno.

Both Akanji and Haaland could face their former club on Sept 14, with Dortmund due to play City at the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League group stage.

Across the city, completed the signing of Antony from Ajax on Thursday for a fee reported to be €95 million euros (S$133.1 million), making him the fourth most expensive signing in Premier League history.

The 22-year-old Brazilian international forward has signed a contract until 2027, with the option of an additional year.

The fee includes a potential €5 million euros in add-ons.

“This is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most iconic clubs in the world,” Antony said in a statement on ’s website.

His fee is a record for an Eredivisie player, surpassing the €86 million of Frenkie de Jong’s move from Ajax Amsterdam to Barcelona three years ago.

Ironically de Jong had been United’s main transfer target for this season but they failed to secure him.

Antony has scored 31 goals in 134 club appearances for Ajax and Sao Paulo, and two goals in nine senior appearances for Brazil.

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