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Liverpool in talks to sign Lille defender Sven Botman in January


Lille defender Sven Botman continues to be portrayed as Liverpool’s latest defensive target, with a report claiming there is a “strong possibility” that the Reds will make an offer for the 20-year-old center-back.

Injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez left the defending champions short at the back, and with Joel Matip’s unreliable form record, Jurgen Klopp was forced to use Fabinho out of his position alongside the young inexperienced Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips.

They examined a number of defensive targets and 90 mins learned in October that Schalke’s Ozan Kabak, Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykola Matvienko, Sevilla’s Jules Koundé and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano were among a host of names being considered to help improve the situation.

According to Duncan Castles on the transfer window podcast, Dutch defender Botman, who has been hugely impressive in his debut season with Lille, is another player in the frame.

Castles is naming Botman, an Ajax youth academy graduate who joined Lille for £ 7million this summer, as a cheaper alternative to Upamecano.

Liverpool are said to be “working on a deal” to bring the 20-year-old to Anfield after just six months in Ligue 1, as the recruiting team identified him as a player who ticks all the boxes for a center-back.

He particularly stands out in individual duels and, following a glowing evaluation, there is a “strong possibility” that Liverpool will make an offer for the 6-foot-4 defender.

Botman has yet to be selected by the Netherlands national team but trained alongside Georginio Wijnaldum during the November internationals after getting his first call-up. He seriously impressed for Lille and has always been present in Ligue 1’s best defense outside of PSG.

But despite its rapidly increasing value, the turbulent financial situation in Lille means they would be willing to sell for a small fee. Around £ 20million is believed to be enough and relative value for money is another factor that draws the Reds.

Botman impressed in France in 2020/21 | DENIS CHARLET / Getty Images

“I understand Lille would be willing to sell the player probably twice and a little more than they paid Ajax for him this summer,” Castles said.

“Liverpool have done this kind of thing before, it’s a good choice for their strategy. According to my information, they called and spoke to Botman’s agent.

“Botman’s agent likes the sound of conversations and thinks it’s quite possible that he decides to make an offer for the player in January.”