The agent of rumoured Liverpool target Sven Botman has denied any truth to fresh claims from France alleging the Lille defender has been sold to an unnamed Premier League club for up to £39m, branding it ‘fake news’.
Liverpool were persistently linked with Botman throughout December, although in early January reporterJames Pearce debunked such claims when he insisted the club were not considering a move and suggested the rumours of interest were artificial in the hope of building hype.
As the end of the January transfer window neared and Liverpool’s centre-back crisis worsened, the 21-year-old Dutchman was again linked. But the Reds went with a loan for Ozan Kabak and a small transfer fee for Ben Davies instead, rather than pay a vast amount for Botman.
Botman has been a regular for Lille this season since joining from Ajax last summer, with the Ligue 1 club currently leading the way in France and determined to wrestle the title away from PSG.
It was French broadcaster Canal+ that claimed over the weekend that Lille have agreed a fee with an-named Premier League club in the region of £35m to £39m. Liverpool were not mentioned but the previous speculation was enough to focus the reaction on them.
However, agent Nikkie Bruinenberg has told Dutch outlet Voetbalzone that it is not true. Bruinenberg, who works for the Muy Manero agency that represents Botman, described the French claims about a done deal as ‘fake news’.
Liverpool were reluctant to dip into the transfer market for defenders in January and had always targeted the summer of 2021 to set about finding options at the back for the long-term.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are the other members of the Premier League ‘big six’ in the market for centre-back reinforcements this summer.
United have eyes on a whole host of players, including Pau Torres and Jules Kounde. Raphael Varane and Tyrone Mings were rumoured to have been added to that list more recently. Chelsea are also linked with Varane, while Liverpool and Spurs have been linked with Ezri Konsa.
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