​​Borussia Dortmund are reportedly locked in transfer talks with FC Basel over the future of Swiss defender Manuel Akanji. The 22-year-old has been highly coveted by the German outfit, and a deal is expected to be thrashed out within the month.

The ​Bundesliga returns at the end of the week from the winter break, and Dortmund host Wolfsburg come Sunday, before travelling to Hertha BSC the following Friday. 

While no one expects anything to be sorted in time for their first game back, there is a slight optimism that Akanji could be employed at the Signal Iduna Park by the time the team travel to Berlin.

However, there are complications - according to Blick. Basel are demanding that Dortmund offer more than the already submitted sum of €15m, the Swiss side holding out for €20m - even though the buying club are already said to be offering well over the odds as it is.

Whether the player would want the move is one thing (having to fight for a place in his side half a year before the World Cup), but Basel would need time to replace what has become an influential player within their ranks.

Northern Ireland v Switzerland - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: First Leg

There is also the interest of England to consider. Basel know that by withholding the sale, they give ​Premier League clubs a chance to swoop in - of which, ​Tottenham, West Ham and ​Southampton are reportedly interested.

This gives the transfer an opportunity to escalate consider the ferocious British spending power - and Dortmund will be eager to act fast.