Ligue 1 champs ask silly money for Newcastle, West Ham-linked defender

Date published: Sunday 1st August 2021 8:13 - Neil Foster

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Newcastle and West Ham have reportedly joined the long list of suitors for Lille defender Sven Botman but will need to wait 12 months unless they are prepared to pay big money this summer.

The 21-year-old joined Lille from Ajax last summer, with the French club paying around €9m for his services. The Netherlands Under-21 ace penned a five-year deal at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. And he played a full part as Les Dogues pulled off shock Ligue 1 triumph, pipping Paris Saint-Germain by a single point.

He made 37 league starts and enhanced his reputation with a stellar showing at centre-back. Liverpool’s defensive problems saw them linked with many stoppers in the January transfer window.

Botman’s name was mentioned but he remained at Lille to complete the campaign. Both Tottenham and Manchester United have also been linked in recent months.

And now West Ham, Newcastle and even Mancheter City have joined the throng. Lille’s financial struggles meant that he was vulnerable to an exit in the off-season.

But French outlet L’Equipe are reporting that LOSC are eager to keep hold of him for the defence of their title. President Olivier Letang has spoken with the talented youngster about the situation.

He is said to have made the club’s position clear and informed him they are not planning on selling him this summer. That is, unless a suitor is willing to pay in excess of €50m for his signature.

Those numbers would represent a considerable profit and improve the club’s financial plight. It is unclear whether any of the English outfits would be prepared to go that high.

Botman keen on Prem switch

Botman came up through the Ajax youth system. He made 28 Eerste Divisie appearances for the reserves and gained Eredivisie experience while on loan with Heerenveen in 2019-2020.

But it was the move to France that has seen his stock rise to new levels. The centre-half is clearly ambitious and issued a ‘come and get me’ plea back in May.

“If I’m honest, the Premier League is one of the leagues I dreamed about… but also Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga,” he told The Atheltic. “The Premier League is something special. It’s the football I really like and that fits me.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool pre-season, 2021

“The style of play, the emotion; I really like to see the fans with such big emotions in the stands. It is a beautiful competition I really like to watch and did for pretty much all my life.”

READ MORE: West Ham move ahead of two Prem rivals in race for £18m Valencia star

 

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