Manchester City have reportedly entered the race to sign Lille defender Sven Botman who has been linked with Liverpool, Manchester United among other clubs.
According to a report from the print edition of French publication L’Equipe, as relayed by the Daily Mail, Manchester City are monitoring LOSC Lille and Netherlands Under-21 international defender Sven Botman, who is also on the radars of Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United.
A product of the AFC Ajax youth academy, Botman made his way to Lille last summer after having failed to make the grade at the Dutch outfit. Since arriving, though, the 21-year-old slotted in seamlessly with Les Dogues and ended up playing a key role in their shock Ligue 1 title triumph in the 2020/21 season.
Botman’s physicality and ball-playing abilities have put him on the radars of several top clubs across Europe, with the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid taking an interest, along with Manchester United while Manchester City have also joined the bandwagon of the Dutchman’s admirers now.
Liverpool have already strengthened their defence this summer with the signing of Ibrahima Konate. And with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk all returning to fitness, Jurgen Klopp has a solid defensive unit heading into the new season, with youngsters Rhys Williams, Billy Koumetio and Nat Phillips also available as options, although the latter seems set for an exit.
So, there doesn’t really seem to be a need for another central defender at Anfield. Although, given Matip’s sketchy injury record and Konate’s own fitness troubles in the past couple of seasons, the Reds could potentially look at the addition of another centre-half, making Botman a viable target.
As for Manchester United, like Liverpool, they too have bolstered their backline with Raphael Varane set to sign from Real Madrid imminently. With Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly also available, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks sorted with regard to his defensive options even if Axel Tuanzebe leaves on loan.
However, with Bailly reportedly pushing for an exit, that could open up a spot in the defensive department, considering as Phil Jones is not part of the plans at Old Trafford, which would make Botman an option worth looking at. In case they do want to make a move, United will now have to battle arch-rivals Manchester City as well, whose interest in the Dutchman also comes out as a bit puzzling.
Indeed, Pep Guardiola already has four Premier League-proven defenders at his disposal in John Stones, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake. However, there have been murmurs of unrest from Laporte due to his lack of involvement last season and the Spanish international could push for an exit, which would create an opening for someone like Botman to come in.
Apart from the three Premier League giants, the 21-year-old is also a subject of interest for West Ham United and Newcastle United. Lille would demand £43 million for Botman, which would be well within the means of Manchester City whereas United and Liverpool might refrain going heavy on another defender this summer. It remains to be seen if any of the teams make a formal approach for the Dutchman.