Liverpool Face Off With Dortmund Over Basel’s Manuel Akanji

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Liverpool are in a two-way battle with Borussia Dortmund over Basel central defender Manuel Akanji, according to an Independent report.

The 22-year-old is rated as one of Switzerland’s best young players and was a mainstay of the Basel defence which propelled the club into the last sixteen of this season’s Champions League.

Dortmund are also on Akanji’s trail, but Liverpool are the Swiss club’s preferred buyer as a deal is expected this summer. The Bundesliga outfit want the centre back this January as they push for a finish in one of Germany’s Champions League places.

Liverpool gave an object lesson in why they need to address their defence during the 3 – 3 draw at the Emirates. While their attack is scintillating, the Reds defence was woeful. Jurgen Klopp cut a perfect picture of frustration on the touchline as a two-goal advantage went begging.

It underlines the steps the Reds need to take if they are to deliver on the potential of their squad. Klopp is keen to add young players to his squad, ones who will inhale his geggenpress tactics.

The Reds are also interested in Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk, 26, but face stiff competition from Manchester City for the Netherlands international.