Manchester United have reportedly made another approach for Borussia Dortmund star Manuel Akanji. The Red Devils have seen club captain Harry Maguire struggle for consistency this term, with the England international failing to live up to his £80million price tag. And the arrival of another centre-back would potentially mean bad news for the former Leicester star.
Manchester United thought they’d struck gold when they signed Maguire from Leicester for £80m back in 2019.
Jose Mourinho had previously been eyeing the England international but it was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his successor, who was given the signing.
Maguire was a regular during Solskjaer’s time in charge but, since the start of the current campaign, has experienced a worrying drop-off in form.
That’s led to United to explore upgrades on the former Hull and Leicester star with the summer transfer window creeping closer.
In recent weeks, there have been suggestions the Red Devils will conduct another raid on Borussia Dortmund for Akanji.
Dortmund want to tie the 26-year-old down to a new contract but, so far, they’ve been unsuccessful when it comes to that mission.
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And BILD say United have made ‘another approach’ when it comes to bringing the Switzerland international to Old Trafford.
It’s said this approach was tabled recently and that Akanji has turned down extensions with Dortmund to keep his options open.
United appear to have a free run at signing the former Basel star.
And, if they are able to raid Dortmund, Akanji would be the fourth player to move from the Westfalenstadion to Old Trafford over the last decade.
In 2012, when Sir Alex Ferguson was manager, Shinji Kagawa joined.
Ferguson expected big things from the Japan international, who had harnessed a reputation as one of the Bundesliga’s best young players during his time in Germany.
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However, Kagawa failed to live up to expectations and was ultimately sold by Louis van Gaal when he replaced David Moyes.
In 2016, United again went to Dortmund.
At the time, many had been expecting Henrikh Mkhitaryan to join Liverpool or Arsenal – with Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger both interested.
Yet United won the race for the Armenia international in the end, much to Jose Mourinho’s delight.
Mkhitaryan scored in the 2017 Europa League final yet, ultimately, wasn’t up to standard.
And Mourinho gave him the green light to join Arsenal in January 2018, with Alexis Sanchez then moving in the opposite direction.
United signed Jadon Sancho from Dortmund last summer.
And the England international has overcome a slow start to rise to the fore and emerge as a vital player for Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, regarding Maguire, former Hull team-mate Ahmed Elmohamady recently insisted he wasn’t good enough to be the club’s captain.
Speaking to beIN Sports, Elmohamady said: “Harry was with me in Hull City and, in my opinion, he doesn’t have the level to be the Manchester United captain.
“Man Utd need a player with a strong personality and I hope that the next manager will give the captaincy to Ronaldo if he stays.”
He then added: “Ronaldo can handle this responsibility and pressure; however, Maguire can’t handle this pressure.
“So I think that the pressure he has by wearing the captain’s armband is affecting his performances.
“Maguire performed really well with Leicester, a team that competes to be in the top six of the Premier League and maybe this is his level.
“He doesn’t have the level to play for the biggest team in the history of England.”