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Does City defender Akanji support Man Utd? Swiss star explains club allegiance

12:49 GMT+3 13/09/2022
Manuel Akanji Manchester City 2022-23
Manuel Akanji is now on the books of Manchester City, but he has previously admitted to being a boyhood supporter of Manchester United.
  • Defender grew up supporting Red Devils
  • Now finds himself at the Etihad Stadium
  • Is fully committed to the City cause

WHAT HAPPENED? The Switzerland international defender completed a £15 million ($18m) deadline day transfer to the Etihad Stadium from Borussia Dortmund, allowing him to link up with the reigning Premier League champions. He insists that there are no split loyalties on his part, with the 27-year-old eager to point out that he no longer pledges any kind of allegiance to arch-rivals from Old Trafford.

WHAT THEY SAID: Akanji has told Blick: I said I was a Manchester United fan growing up, but that when you reach a certain level as a player, you're no longer a fan, because you play against such clubs and you don't support this club like you did. I was then also asked what my goal was. I said I would eventually play for the best club in the world. From this, it was concluded I considered Manchester United to be the best club in the world and I really wanted to play [for them] one day, which I never said...

“When I came to FC Basel, I played in the Champions League and against Manchester United. When the idols became rivals, I got to a point where I stopped being a fan and wanted to do my own job well enough to beat teams like Manchester United.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Akanji made his debut for City in a 4-0 Champions League win over Sevilla and is now fully committed to the Blues' cause.

AND WHAT'S MORE: He may get an opportunity to line up against United in the coming weeks, with City due to take in a derby date with their fiercest foes on October 2.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR AKANJI? City will be back in European action on Wednesday when playing host to Akanji’s former employers at Dortmund.