Lille centre-back Sven Botman has refused to rule out a move to the Premier League this summer, having been strongly linked with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
The talented 21-year-old has made a huge impression in Ligue 1 this season, with his side closing in on a surprise title victory ahead of the likes of PSG, Monaco and Lyon. And, as happened with Monaco when they were crowned in 2016-17, big clubs are sniffing around Lille’s best players already.
But now, the big defender has opened up on his plans for the future in an interview with The Atheltic.
Speaking about all the speculation, Botman said: “It is a good compliment when you hear these clubs are interested. I’m lying if I say it’s not interesting me — it’s the first time such big clubs are linked to me — but it was early days because in January I was only at Lille for half a season.
“It was nice to hear but I was focusing on Lille and I’m still doing this. After the season I will enjoy a vacation and see what happens next.
“If I’m honest, the Premier League is one of the leagues I dreamed about… but also Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga. The Premier League is something special. It’s the football I really like and that fits me. 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.
“I’m not the kind of guy who is already planning for the future. How it’s going with me now, I hope to someday make a good step to a top competition or a big club; that’s my goal.
“But I’m good at the moment with Lille. I’m really enjoying this year, I’m enjoying playing a lot. I learn a lot and I still have to improve a lot. I’m not complaining about my situation right now, I’m happy at the moment.
“For my ambitions, yes, of course I want to achieve as much as possible. I hope to make a big, beautiful step for me. We’ll have to see in the future if that is possible or not.”
Premier League scramble on the cards
Those comments appear to suggest that the talented defender is up for moving to England in the near future.
Previous reports suggest Botman could cost between €40million (£35million) and €45million (£39million). For a player of that age, who looks set to be a title-winner, that could end up being a bargain.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wants to add another top-class centre-back to avoid another situation like the current campaign. The Reds were left short when both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were ruled out for the season.
As for United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains in the hunt for a new partner for Harry Maguire.
Sunday’s Paper Talk reported that a cut-price deal for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly was still on the cards. Botman, however, would represent better value, seeing as how he is eight years younger.