Liverpool in talks to sign Lille defender Sven Botman in January

Robbie Copeland
Jan 1, 2021, 2:30 PM GMT
Liverpool are thought to be looking at Botman
Liverpool are thought to be looking at Botman | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

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

Injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have left the defending champions short at the back, and with Joel Matip's unreliable fitness record, Jurgen Klopp has been forced to use Fabinho out of position alongside inexperienced youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips.

They have been looking at a number of defensive targets and 90min 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 under consideration to help alleviate the situation.

According to Duncan Castles on the Transfer Window Podcast, Dutch defender Botman, who has been mightily impressive in his debut season with Lille, is another player in the frame.

Castles names Botman, a youth academy graduate at Ajax who joined Lille for £7m in the summer, as a cheaper alternative to the likes of Upamecano.

It's said that Liverpool are 'working on a deal' to bring the 20-year-old to Anfield after just six months in Ligue 1, as the recruitment team have identified him as a player who ticks all the boxes for a central defender.

He particularly stands out in one-on-one duels, and as a result of a glowing assessment, there is a 'strong possibility' that Liverpool will make an offer for the 6ft 4in defender.

Botman is yet to be capped by the Netherlands national team but trained alongside Georginio Wijnaldum in November's internationals after he earned his first call-up. He has seriously impressed for Lille, and has been an ever-present in the best defence in Ligue 1 outside of PSG.

But despite his rapidly increasing value, the turbulent financial situation at Lille means they would be prepared to sell for a modest fee. Around £20m is thought to be enough and the relative value for money there is another factor that entices the Reds.

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

"My understanding is that Lille would be willing to sell the player probably for twice and a little bit more what they paid Ajax for him in the summer," Castles said.

"Liverpool have done this kind of thing before, it's a good fit for their strategy. My information is that they have been calling and speaking to Botman’s agent.

"Botman’s agent likes the sounds of the conversations and believes there is a strong possibility that they will decide to make an offer for the player in January."