Real Madrid are reportedly keeping tabs on Lille defender Sven Botman, who is also a transfer target for Premier League giants Liverpool.
According to a report from OK Diario, reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid have set their sights on LOSC Lille centre-back Sven Botman as they look to bolster their defensive options. The Merengues, however, face competition from Liverpool, who are also interested in the 20-year-old.
Botman came through the youth ranks at Dutch outfit Ajax but never managed to break into the senior team. Having spent the previous season out on loan at Heerenveen, the 20-year-old signed by Lille last summer and has instantly established himself as a regular in the lineup.
Botman has started all of Lille’s 21 Ligue 1 matches this term, while also featuring in each of their six UEFA Europa League games. In 27 appearances in all competitions, Botman has helped the team to eleven clean sheets, while assisting a goal as well.
Botman’s exploits in his short spell in France have put him firmly on the radars of Real Madrid. The Spanish capital outfit will soon be in need of defensive reinforcements as captain and veteran defender Sergio Ramos is out of contract at the end of the season.
In addition, defensive mainstay Raphael Varane is seeking an exit from the club, which would leave Zinedine Zidane with Nacho and Eder Militao as his only options at centre-back. With the latter hardly getting a look-in into the team under Zidane, it goes without saying that a new defender will be a necessity for Real Madrid, even if Varane stays.
To that end, Los Blancos have identified Villarreal’s Pau Torres as a transfer target for the summer. Along with the Spaniard, Real Madrid are now said to be monitoring Lille’s Botman as well. The report states that club scouts have been heavily impressed by the Dutchman, who offers a towering presence at the back and is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet.
In addition, Botman’s maturity and the fact that he is left-footed is said to appeal a great deal to the Real Madrid coaches as per the report. However, the Spanish heavyweights will have to stave off competition from Premier League champions Liverpool for the 20-year-old.
The Reds are going through a crisis situation in their defensive department, with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk out with serious injuries. In addition, Fabinho missed the midweek game against Tottenham with an injury while Joel Matip had to be taken off midway through the game with another issue.
This has left Jurgen Klopp thin on options at the heart of the defence. And, Botman is one of the options that the Reds have been linked with to bolster their backline. The report states that Liverpool are considering a move for the Dutchman before the end of the January transfer window, meaning Real Madrid will have to act fast to sign him up.
Botman signed a five-year contract with Lille upon arriving last summer. However, as per the report, the Ligue 1 outfit will be prepared to sell him for €25 million, which, considering his age and potential, would be quite a coup. It now remains to be seen if either of Real Madrid or Liverpool move for the 20-year-old.