LOSC Lille’s defensive giant Sven Botman has reportedly emerged as Manchester United’s desired alternative for Raphael Varane.

According to Duncan Castles, as relayed by Express, Manchester United have stepped up their pursuit of Sven Botman. The club has already approached the representatives of the LOSC Lille defender, who has emerged as the primary alternative for top target Raphael Varane.

It appears Manchester United have reached an impasse with Real Madrid over negotiations regarding their star defensive asset, with the Premier League unwilling to meet Los Blancoshefty £60 million demands.

Botman, as a result, has been identified as the desired alternative for the Frenchman and is a much more realistic option for Manchester United, with Lille likely to offload the youngster in the upcoming summer transfer window.

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Reports earlier this week suggested that the Red Devils could face stiff competition from league rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the pursuit of Botman, who has been one of the rising stars in Ligue 1 this term.

Joining Lille last summer, for a fee of just £7.2 million, the former Ajax youth product has enjoyed instant success alongside Jose Fonte, at the heart of the four-man backline. His work rate and an imposing figure have proved to be critical in helping Les Dogues emerge as favourites to seal the Ligue 1 title this term, with the club also boasting the best defensive record in the league.

Manchester United’s interest in Botman, therefore, is hardly surprising as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could certainly use someone his stature alongside Harry Maguire next season. Standing at 1.95m, the young Dutchman could indeed offer that extra bit of physicality United have lacked in their defensive unit this term.

From a sporting perspective, Botman should provide healthy competition for the likes of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly to pair up with Maguire at the heart of the Manchester United defence. His potential arrival, though, might not be a good sign for Axel Tuanzebe, who has already been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, after struggling with a lack of game-time under Solskjaer.

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The Lille defender, boasting immense potential, could be an ideal cost-effective alternative for Varane, although the Dutchman may not bring the same experience or leadership as his Frenchman. He can, nonetheless, improve under Solskjaer, potentially becoming the face of the Manchester United defence, as they look to compete with the top dogs of English football next season.

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