Liverpool have been widely linked with Sven Botman among a number of young defenders around Europe – but the Reds won’t be moving for the Dutchman, according to local reports.
There appeared to be a bit of gamesmanship on the go last week, with social media antics appearing to back up rumours in an overly obvious way.
Initially it was Botman’s agents liking a post which said the defender was Anfield-bound, before Botman’s centre-back partner at Lille Jose Fonte also got involved – before the 20-year-old himself shared a photo from an apparent meeting with his agents.
Now, however, it’s claimed that fans and media outlets alike have put two-and-two together and come up with five, or perhaps £35 million.
James Pearce of the Athletic reports that the Reds are “not considering a move for him” and says it’s likely that interested parties are “trying to drive up the price” in Botman.
Put to Pearce by a supporter that there appeared to be little reason for the journalist to be following the Lille defender on social media, in that case, Pearce replied tongue-in-cheek about following other interests outside imminent Liverpool transfer signings.
However, it’s not just one member of the local media gang which is “keeping tabs” on Botman and fans could be forgiven for thinking that there’s no smoke without fire.
— Matty Johnson (@MrMattyjohnson) January 3, 2021
The Echo’s Ian Doyle and Goal.com’s Neil Jones both follow the agency representing Botman, and the overseas media links appear to back up the notion that the Reds are, at the very least, keeping tabs on the several quality young players currently on the books at Lille.
It’s also worth remembering that some deals have come out of the blue – Fabinho, Minamino – and that others have been steadfastly denied by local media up until the point it became apparent they were joining, such as Thiago Alcantara in the summer.
Unquestionably the local journalists have their sources, but it’s important to bear in mind that the messages they receive may well come from other individuals with their own interests in mind.
We’re into the January window now and, as ever, there are options aplenty for the Reds to consider.