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Borussia Dortmund complete €15m signing of Balerdi from Boca Juniors

2:15 am AEDT 15/1/19
Leonardo Balerdi Boca Juniors 2018-19
The 19-year-old signed a long-term contract with BVB on Monday, ending his long-time affiliation with the South American giants

Argentina Under 20 international Leonardo Balerdi has completed a transfer to Borussia Dortmund, signing from Boca Juniors on a long-term contract.

Reports in Argentina have indicated Dortmund agreed to pay €15 million (£13m/$17m) for the defender, with a further €2m potentially due to Boca in add-ons.

The 19-year-old rose through the ranks at youth level with Boca before graduating to the senior team in 2018.

He has since appeared in five Argentine Primera Division matches, earning the attention of Bundesliga leaders Dortmund.

BVB have drafted Balerdi in as cover for Manuel Akanji, who is currently sidelined with injury, as they chase a first German title since 2012.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc expressed his delight after announcing the signing of Balerdi on Monday, telling the club's official website: "The signing of Leonardo Balerdi is a transfer that was originally planned for the coming summer and is now being brought forward. 

"Leonardo is an intelligent centre-back and strong in defence. He also has a good build-up and passing game. We are very glad that he has chosen us and are convinced that he will help us with his talent in the future."

Balerdi could be handed his first taste of Bundesliga football this coming Saturday, as Lucien Favre's side take in a trip to RB Leipzig.

Dortmund currently hold a six-point lead over arch-rivals Bayern Munich at the top of the table, after winning 13 of their first 17 matches.

Favre now has Balerdi, Abdou Diallo, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Omer Toprak to call upon in the heart of the defence, with Akanji set to miss the remainder of the season.