Manchester City will face Swiss champions FC Basel in the Champions League Round of 16 with the two legs scheduled for 13 February and 7 March.
It won’t quite be the same Basel side that surprisingly qualified from Group A ahead of CSKA Moscow and Benfica though, with the club cashing in on two important first team players this month.
Swiss international winger Renato Steffen became the 6,000th player to appear in the Bundesliga after his €1.75million move to Wolfsburg this month. The 26-year-old played in all six of Basel’s group games, registering an assist in their 5-0 demolition of Benfica.
The big loss for Basel however, came today, when Borussia Dortmund completed the signing of their best defender, Manuel Akanji, for a €20million-plus fee. The deal had been expected for a while and was made official by the Bundesliga giants today.
✍️ Borussia Dortmund hat sich mit dem @FCBasel1893 auf einen sofortigen Wechsel des Spielers Manuel #Akanji verständigt. Der 22 Jahre junge Abwehrspieler unterzeichnete einen Vertrag bis zum 30. Juni 2022 und erhält die Rückkennummer 16. Herzlich willkommen, Manuel! ✌️ pic.twitter.com/79VFrXKz9I
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) January 15, 2018
Akanji was excellent in the Champions League group stage and named Man of the Match by WhoScored in Basel’s 1-0 win over Manchester United in November.
Raphaël Wicky’s side have bolstered the ranks a little by re-signing the experienced Valentin Stocker from Hertha BSC, four years after selling him for around €5million – but all in all, it looks like it’ll be a weaker Basel that face Manchester City next month and in March than the one who finished only 3 points behind Manchester United in Group A.
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