Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on LOSC Lille defender Sven Botman as they look to bolster their backline in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Spanish outlet Fichajes, Barcelona’s pursuit for defensive reinforcements in the upcoming transfer window has led them to Ligue 1 champions LOSC Lille, with Sven Botman emerging as a potential target for the Cules.
Botman is a product of the AFC Ajax youth academy. The 21-year-old signed for Lille only last summer, after an impressive loan spell away at FC Heerenveen and quickly became an integral member of first-team under Christophe Galtier. Indeed, the Dutchman missed just one league game as Les Dogues beat PSG to the Ligue 1 crown on the final day of the 2020/21 season.
Botman ended the campaign with a total of 47 appearances across all competitions, registering a solitary assist in the process. The 21-year-old’s rapid progress and rise into one of the best defenders on show in Ligue 1 over the past year hasn’t gone unnoticed with a number of top clubs across Europe, including the likes of Manchester United, showing an interest.
And, it now seems like Barcelona, too, have entered the fray to try and sign Botman in the summer and for good reasons. The Catalans’ defence did not have the best of the seasons in 2020/21 with Gerard Pique battling fitness issues as he enters the final phase of his career while Clement Lenglet endured a dip in form.
Samuel Umtiti continues to be unreliable due to his injury issues, which left Ronald Koeman reliant on youngsters Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza for large parts. While they did fare considerably well, it is time for Barcelona to undergo a rejig at the back, which has already started with Eric Garcia arriving on a free transfer from Manchester City.
The Spaniard is seen as the long-term replacement for Pique but Barcelona will be needing another central defender this summer given as they are reportedly ready to cash in on Umtiti, while Lenglet is also said to be staring at an uncertain future at Camp Nou. Botman, to that end, can be a viable target for the Blaugrana.
Botman, a left-footed centre-back, ticks a lot of boxes for Barcelona considering that he is strong in the air, good with the ball at his feet and possesses solid defensive nous. And, at 21, the Dutchman is only bound to improve with time and experience.
But given that he is contracted with Lille till 2025, the French champions might demand top dollar for their ace defender, which could be a problem for the financially-hampered Barcelona. It remains to be seen if the Catalan giants press ahead with their interest in Botman this summer or look at alternate targets.