In Focus: Tottenham probably didn’t see Manuel Akanji move as a priority

According to reports in Swiss media outlet Blick, Tottenham Hotspur have lost out to Borussia Dortmund in the race to sign FC Basel centre-back Manuel Akanji with the Bundesliga outfit set to seal a €21.5m (approximately £19m) deal.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Blick reported on Tuesday that Spurs were one of many Premier League clubs interested in signing the highly-rated 22-year-old, but the latest report from Blick suggests that they have been beaten to the Switzerland international’s signature by Dortmund.

Spurs were potentially looking at Akanji with Toby Alderweireld currently injured and with his long-term future still in doubt as he is yet to agree to a new contract, but the north London outfit will have to look elsewhere if they want to replace him.

How has Akanji done this season?

He has been excellent.

The 22-year-old is quick and as well as establishing himself as a key player in Basel’s backline, he also helped them qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

According to WhoScored.com, he has won eight tackles, made 13 interceptions, 12 blocks and 31 clearances in Europe this term, as well as winning 15 of the 23 aerial duels he has faced in Europe’s elite club competition this season.

Will Tottenham be frustrated to miss out?

They may well be but they were only loosely linked with the player so perhaps they weren’t that serious about signing him now, and would have preferred a summer deal.

That said, the £19m deal could prove to be a bargain given the potential that he has, but the player himself may have preferred a move to Borussia Dortmund meaning that interest from elsewhere would have been pointless anyway.

Will Spurs sign a centre-back this month?

If there is a good deal on the table they would probably explore it, but the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Ben Davies, Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez are coping fine without Alderweireld right now so an addition at the back certainly isn’t a priority.

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