​Dortmund sign Swiss defender Akanji from Basel

Borussia Dortmund have signed defender Manuel Akanji from Swiss champions Basel on a four-and-a-half year contract, the eight-time German champions said on Monday.
The Switzerland international scored seven goals in over 50 appearances for Basel and helped them win the Swiss domestic double last season.

“He has already demonstrated at international and Champions League level that he can play at the highest level in Europe. Nonetheless, we still see him as a defender who has potential for further development,” Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc said.

The 22-year-old Akanji, who has four won caps for Switzerland, featured in all Basel’s Champions League group matches this season and is eligible to play for Dortmund in the Europa League.

“The discussions I’ve had with those responsible at Borussia Dortmund made me feel comfortable. In that respect it was a decision of the heart. And I’ve always enjoyed the football they play in Dortmund,” Akanji said.

Dortmund are fourth in the Bundesliga and face Hertha Berlin on Friday. (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)