Wolverhampton Wanderers have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Sven Botman to Molineux in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Sky Sports Italia, who claim that AC Milan have now joined the race for the LOSC Lille centre-back ahead of the winter market, as the Serie A are side looking to sign a replacement for Simon Kjaer – who has been ruled out of action for around six months due to a knee injury.
An earlier report by The Athletic revealed that Newcastle United are another side keeping tabs on the Netherlands U21 international, while Liverpool are also credited with an interest in the former Ajax defender – for whom Lille are commanding a £40m fee in order to part with in January.
Considering the fact that Wolves were reported to be in talks to sign Botman this summer, as well as having been credited with an interest in the 21-year-old this winter, the news that the likes of AC Milan, Liverpool and mega-rich Newcastle United are now also in the race for the Dutchman is sure to have left Jeff Shi fuming.
Indeed, the £25.2m-rated centre-back highly impressed over his 37 appearances in Lille’s title-winning campaign last season, helping his side keep a whopping 20 clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.5 interceptions, 0.8 tackles, 60.6 passes and winning 68% of his duels per game.
These returns saw the player who Kevin Phillips dubbed a “Van Dijk-like signing” average a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.08, ranking him as his club’s joint third-best performer in the top flight of French football last time out.
As such, it is clear to see that the £18k-per-week Botman would make a fantastic addition to Bruno Lage’s current options in the heart of defence at Molineux, a position in which it would very much appear Wolves simply must bring reinforcements into this winter.
Indeed, with Willy Boly and Romain Saiss more than likely being unavailable for selection in January due to their potential participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, coupled with summer signing Yerson Mosquera being ruled out of action until at least February with a hamstring injury, the 45-year-old manager could well be left with just two senior options at centre-back come January 1.
However, following the latest news concerning Botman, unless Shi can pull something incredibly special out of the bag in order for Wolves to beat the likes of Milan, Liverpool and Newcastle to the signing of the 21-year-old, it looks as if the club will have to turn their focus away from the Lille defender – something that will undoubtedly come as a major blow to the chairman.