Liverpool are eyeing up a move for Basel defender Manuel Akanji.
That’s according to an article by The Independent, in which they claim that manager Jurgen Klopp has identified the twenty-two year old as a potential January transfer target.
Akanji has helped the Swiss club to progress in the Champions League after finishing second behind Manchester United in the group phase of the competition this season.
And his performances have not gone unnoticed by visiting scouts following his progression into being one of the most important players in the Basel team over the past year or so.
But his club are not open to the idea of letting him move in January as they prepare to face runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City in the last sixteen of the Champions League in February and March.
Klopp is a patient man and is likely to be willing to wait until the Summer to sign Akanji – if he has made the centre-back a transfer priority for next year.
And that could see Basel favour a deal to sell him to Liverpool as rivals for the defender, Borussia Dortmund, are eager to wrap up a move during the transfer window next month.
Their sporting director, Michael Zorc, has identified Akanji as a key signing for January and that is likely to see the Swiss club prefer the idea of allowing him to join Liverpool at the end of the season instead.
Klopp is likely to prefer the notion of signing Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk, but relations remain strained between the two clubs and if he can get an alternative player in his squad it may make more sense.