Manchester United have been credited with scouting Lille defender Sven Botman.
The Dutchman has long been linked with a Premier League switch amid interest from a whole host of clubs across Europe including the Red Devils.
Reports have emerged over the past week that he has agreed terms ahead of a summer move to Anfield.
However, his agent has moved to swiftly deny those rumours, and according to The Mirror, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are also admirers of the central defender, saying that they have “scouted” him as the United boss looks to strengthen his back-line. This follows a report from The Sunday World just last month that Liverpool could face competition from their Premier League rivals for his signature.
United would give him the platform to perform alongside club captain Harry Maguire, while joining Liverpool would see him reunited with his countryman and international teammate Virgil van Dijk – who is currently recovering from injury.
It seems Solskjaer is desperate to bring in defensive reinforcements after seeing United’s title challenge this season falter in front of his very eyes amid links to the likes of Nikola Milenkovic and Sergios Ramos.
Solskjaer has suffered a string of setbacks so far this season, with Maguire subject to intense media scrutiny after his arrest in Mykonos, while Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have been unable to impress consistently next to the club captain.
In Botman, United could find the perfect upgrade on Lindelof, who endured a torrid time against Premier League strugglers West Brom on Sunday.
The Dutchman, who is currently valued at £22m via Transfermarkt, finds himself a wanted man ahead of the summer transfer window, and for a good reason too.
At 21, he could be seen as the ideal long-term partner to Maguire, as he has grown in stature since his €9m (£7.8m) arrival from Ajax.
The Dutch youngster is widely touted as one of Ligue 1’s most promising talents with defensive skills that have earned him rave reviews all over Europe.
By the numbers, Botman is better than Lindelof in almost every area, with his one tackle on average, 1.8 interceptions per game, and three clearances per 90 in the French top flight showing that attackers find it incredibly difficult to get the better of the Dutchman. Considering he has made 24 Ligue 1 appearances this season, that’s no mean feat.
Just imagine the difference he could make alongside Maguire and co, it’s almost too much to think about. Therefore, Ed Woodward should focus all his efforts on trying to bring Botman to Old Trafford this summer.
He would represent an upgrade on Lindelof and tie in to United’s desire of signing young, exciting player who fit their long-term vision.
AND in other news, Bruno Fernandes was Manchester United’s one shining light vs West Brom…