By 90Min
January 11, 2018

Southampton are said to be the latest of a number of clubs who are considering a move for talented Basel defender Manuel Akanji - who is contracted to the Swiss club until 2021. 

The Saints have been boosted by a cash surplus following the departure of centre-back Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool for £75m earlier in the January window, a club Southampton will be looking to trump in the race to sign the impressive 22-year-old. 

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Swiss outlet Blick has claimed Southampton are monitoring the Switzerland international as they weigh up their options following the departure of their Dutch centre-back whose fee made him the most expensive defender in world football. 

However, the Saints are not alone in their pursuit of Akanji as the report also states Borussia Dortmund are serious in their pursuit, whilst Premier League rivals West Ham and Tottenham have also registered their interest. 

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Basel, however, have made it clear that their star defender will only leave the club in their terms as they do not have a financial need to sell - although they have been reported to have enquired about Norwich's Timm Klose as a replacement. 

Liverpool were also reported to hold interest in Akanji as the Independent claimed in December that the 22-year-old was being touted as a potential partner for van Dijk - although the interest seems to have run cold in recent weeks a move could be revisited in the summer as Basel are understood to be resistant to sanctioning any deal in the middle of the season. 

The Swiss defender is set to play a vital role in Basel's Champions League campaign next month as they prepare to face Premier League leaders Manchester City in the last 16. 

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