Arsenal are reportedly lining up Borussia Dortmund centre-half Manuel Akanji for £25 million after opening negotiations in January.

That’s according to the latest reports in Germany and Manuel’s native Switzerland as Gunners boss Mikel Arteta prioritises bolstering his defence.

Arsenal are said to have failed with a bid for the ex-Basel man last summer before launching negotiations for him early this year.

Dortmund are understood to have blocked his departure last summer transfer market after losing fellow central defender Abdou Diallo to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

But German website FussballTransfers.com claim Arsenal senior figures then held concrete discussions with Die Borussen counterparts in the last transfer window over a move this summer.

Manuel fell out of favour with coach Lucien Favre this season despite impressing last season, his first in Germany.

But he played the full 90 minutes last week as Dortmund thumped Schalke 4-0 when the Bundesliga became the first top league to return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And Akanji is the type of powerful figure Mikel is believed to be keen on. He already plays alongside Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka at international level, having won 22 caps.

The Gunners shipped 36 Premier League goals to slump to ninth before the coronavirus halted football in March.

Dortmund paid £15 million for Akanji in January 2018 after he helped Basel lift two Super League trophies and a Swiss Cup.

The 6ft 1ins central defender is under contract at the Signal Iduna Park outfit until the summer of 2022.