Manchester City could receive an early boost well in advance of their Champions League Round of 16 two-legged tie with Swiss champions FC Basel.
Basel, who are major underdogs going into the encounter, are very close to losing their star defender to Borussia Dortmund according to a report in BLICK.
The player in question is 22-year-old central-back Manuel Akanji, who was excellent in the Champions League group stage and was named Man of the Match by WhoScored in Basel’s 1-0 win over Manchester United in November.
And according to BLICK, there is just a €5million gap in valuation between Basel and Borussia Dortmund over the player, with the Bundesliga side hoping to have him in their squad by the time they face Hertha Berlin on 19 January.
BVB want to strike a deal worth €15million for the Swiss international with Basel requesting €20million. Interest from Tottenham, Southampton, West Ham and AS Roma could force Dortmund into hurrying up before a rival bid arrives.
For Pep Guardiola, this could be an unexpectedly early boost ahead of the two Champions League games, which are scheduled for 13 February (away) and 7 March (home), especially when considering the name being mooted to replace him.
29-year-old Timm Klose, who plays in the English Championship for Norwich, is the name mentioned by BLICK as a likely replacement for Akanji should he move on this month. A solid defender, but unlikely one who will strike fear into the hearts of Pep’s Shark Team…
And it could be a double blow for Basel and double boost for City with another Bundesliga side, Wolfsburg, said to be in ‘intensive talks’ for Renato Steffen, who featured in all six of Basel’s Champions League group stage games.
— kicker | Bundesliga (@kicker_bl_li) January 9, 2018
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