SOUTHAMPTON have reportedly lost out to Borussia Dortmund in the race for Basle star Manuel Akanji.
The Daily Mail claims Mauricio Pellegrino wanted the 22-year-old centre-back to replace Virgil van Dijk.
Getty Manuel Akanji is set to join Borussia Dortmund for £20m
Akanji was also said to be a target for Liverpool but they dropped their interest after securing Van Dijk from St Mary’s in a £75million deal.
West Ham and West Brom were believed to be interested in Akanji too.
But it appears he will now sign for Dortmund, with the Germans handing over £20m in exchange for his signature.
Akanji has been a mainstay in the Basle side this season, helping them secure a famous 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League.
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Reuters Southampton wanted Akanji to replace Virgil van Dijk
And Dortmund will be hoping he can bring defensive stability to their team after falling 16 points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race.
Southampton will now look for another centre-back while also chasing up a number of attacking options.
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Monaco striker Guido Carrillo and Atletico Madrid winger Nico Gaitan are both on Pellegrino’s radar.
But Saints risk missing out on Arsenal’s Theo Walcott after Everton held talks with the Englishman.
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