Southampton are considering using the Virgil van Dijk money to beat Liverpool to the defender they have been tipped to partner him with.
Akanji, 22, is rated as Switzerland's best centre-back prospect and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is an admirer.
Liverpool are prepared to wait until the summer as Basel do not wish to sell mid-season due to their involvement in the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund are keen too, but Southampton's interest and funds complicates matters.
Akanji is just 22 and should be wary of making a big move too soon.
He only needs to look at Van Dijk to see the benefit of patience, with the Dutchman becoming the world's most expensive defender after two years at the Saints.