Lille defender Sven Botman has addressed rumours linking him with a summer switch to Liverpool, claiming it’s a ‘compliment’ when clubs like the six-time European champions are interested.
The 21-year-old defender has enjoyed a fabulous maiden campaign with the Ligue 1 table toppers, starting 36 of their 37 league games as they attempt to end Paris Saint-Germain’s domestic domination.
Despite only being at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy for six months following a £7m move from Dutch giants Ajax, Jurgen Klopp’s charges attempted to acquire the centre-back’s signature back in January in order to address the Reds’ injury crisis.
In an interview with The Athletic, the Dutch Under-21’s international commented on Liverpool’s interest and their reported pursuit of him over the winter.
“It is a good compliment when you hear these clubs are interested. I’m lying if I say it’s not interesting me — it’s the first time such big clubs are linked to me — but it was early days because in January, I was only at Lille for half a season,” revealed Botman.
“It was nice to hear, but I was focusing on Lille, and I’m still doing this. After the season I will enjoy a vacation and see what happens next.”
Botman’s admiration of the Reds may provide Klopp’s men with a significant boost in their pursuit of the youngster, and WhoScored’s report labelling him ‘the next Van Dijk’ could put him top of some fans’ wishlist.
Christophe Galtier’s men are currently leading PSG by one point at the top of the French first division with one game remaining, and Botman will go down in history if he is part of a side that ends the capital club’s three-year winning run.
However, given the unstable nature of French football’s finances, Les Dogues could be willing to part ways with one of their prized assets over the summer, and if that’s the case, Liverpool must take advantage.
With Virgil van Dijk still recovering from a potentially career-changing injury and the perpetually plagued Joel Matip and Joe Gomez also on the treatment table, Liverpool can’t afford not to strengthen at the heart of defence over the upcoming transfer window.
RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate has also been linked with a move to Anfield, but the Frenchman has his own injury issues, and therefore, a move for Botman is arguably the logical and safest solution.
Even if the Reds make Ozan Kabak’s move to Liverpool a permanent one, they still need another centre-back given the fitness concerns over both Matip and Gomez. Botman fits the bill perfectly.