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West Ham United are prepared to pay €18 million (£16 million) for FC Basel defender Manuel Akanji, according to journalist Andreas Boeni on Twitter.

It is thought that the player himself would prefer a move to Borussia Dortmund, although Blick reported earlier this week that the Germans are only willing to pay €15 million (£13.3 million) for his services.

However, Boeni, who is the lead football writer at the Swiss newspaper, claims that if the Bundesliga outfit increase their offer to match Basel’s valuation of €20 million (£17.8 million), they would be in pole position to land Akanji.

The Hammers are known to be in the market for a centre-half during the January transfer window as manager David Moyes looks to solidify the foundations of his team.

Akanji joined Basel in the summer of 2015, but suffered a cruciate ligament injury during his first season at the club shortly after breaking into the senior setup.

After returning in the second half of the last campaign, the 22-year-old went on to establish himself as one of the first names on the team-sheet and has continued his fine form this time around.

Having featured in all but one of the Super League champions’ fixtures across all competitions this term, it is clear to see that Akanji is extremely highly rated by those at St. Jakob-Park.

Particularly impressive have been his Champions League performances; he played every minute as Basel finished second in Group A behind Manchester United, winning four of their six matches and keeping four clean sheets along the way to qualify for the knockout stages.

Quick across the ground, able to read the game and possessing an eye for a pass, Akanji could be the ideal player to complement the physicality of Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna in the West Ham defence.

Whether the Irons can tempt him to the London Stadium remains to be seen but it appears that they are in a reasonably strong position.

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