Liverpool never held official talks to sign Sven Botman from Lille – but “are looking at the player”, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Botman was one of a number of centre-backs linked with Liverpool during the January transfer window. Injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip forced the champions to look for reinforcements.
They initially seemed reluctant to recruit, leaving it late to bring in Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke and Ben Davies on a permanent deal from Championship side Preston.
Kabak has taken on a role of responsibility recently, and was the man of the match in a Champions League win over RB Leipzig.
He will need to continue such form to convince Liverpool to activate their option to buy him at the end of the season. Even if they do, the club continue to be linked with several defenders.
Botman was reportedly an option in January, when Liverpool were ready to take advantage of Lille’s financial struggles.
Ultimately, they shifted their focus elsewhere. But with Lille still needing to raise funds, the opportunity to sign Botman in the summer may remain.
Now, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed the extent of Liverpool’s interest (via the Here We Go podcast).
“We mentioned Botman as one of the potential centre-backs of the summer because Lille need to sell players,” Romano said. “Botman is an interesting centre-back.
“They [Lille] are so happy with him, but they know that top clubs are going for Botman.
“What I want to add about Liverpool is that they were never close to signing Botman in January. We had a lot of rumours on deadline day about a private flight and many things about Botman in other weeks about an agreement reached and negotiations. It’s not true.
“They are looking at the player because he is appreciated. But they never started anything official or advanced with Botman.
“Keep an eye on the other clubs who are looking for a centre-back, because we know in the summer a lot of centre-backs will move, and keep an eye on Botman because he will be one of the most interesting because he is a good, good player.”
Tottenham also linked with Botman
Jose Mourinho is keen to strengthen his defence due to his lack of confidence in some of his current options.
Botman is one of the players under consideration, with reports last month speculating a summer bid.