Man City monitoring £43m-rated Ligue 1 starlet – A move for Guardiola to avoid?

Sven Botman for the Netherlands national team.
Sven Botman for the Netherlands national team. (imago Images)

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Manchester City keen on Sven Botman transfer

According to the print edition of French outlet L’Equipe (h/t Daily Mail), Manchester City are monitoring Lille’s Sven Botman. However, they are likely to face competition from Liverpool and city rivals, Manchester United, for the Dutchman’s signature. The French side are said to demand a £43m fee for the youngster.

Botman is a product of the famed Ajax youth academy. He was loaned to Heerenveen during his spell with the Amsterdam-based side before sealing a move to Lille last summer. The Netherlands U21 international had a stellar season with the Ligue 1 champions, but is he the man that Pep Guardiola should be targeting right now?

Man City have no need for Sven Botman

City already have a plethora of defenders in their team. Ruben Dias and John Stones formed a reliable partnership for Pep Guardiola last season as the Citizens made the UEFA Champions League final and won the Premier League. Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake also got minutes and the four of them still remain at the club ahead of the new season.

AC Milan's Croatian forward Ante Rebic (L) fights for the ball with Lille's Dutch defender Sven Botman.
AC Milan’s Croatian forward Ante Rebic (L) fights for the ball with Lille’s Dutch defender Sven Botman. (GETTY Images)

None of the aforementioned names are above the age of 27 at the time of writing, and City aren’t necessarily at a place where they need to future-proof their backline. Moreover, the majority of them are also tied down to long-term contracts at the club. Ake, Laporte, and Dias are all set to stay at the Etihad for several years if they stay bound by their current deals.

Moreover, City are already in negotiations with John Stones and Dias over new deals. According to a report by The Athletic (Subscription Required), the English centre-back and the former SL Benfica man are both in line for new deals at the Etihad. Stones’ situation is understandably more important considering his contract, as of now, expires next summer.

Amidst all this, it is difficult to see where Botman really fits in City’s system. Pep Guardiola clearly has four top centre-backs and Ake, who arrived from Bournemouth, had just 10 league appearances in his only season for City so far. In fact, such is the competition for defenders at City that the departure of Eric Garcia to Barcelona this summer is also no cause for concern for them.

Sven Botman of Lille is linked with Liverpool, Manchester City, and Man United.
Sven Botman of Lille is linked with Liverpool, Manchester City, and Man United. (GETTY Images)

The aforementioned price tag might be considered reasonable by some, but for City, it doesn’t really make sense to splash that money on a 21-year-old after one quality season in Ligue 1. That is because they already have a talented roster at the back and it would be wiser to hand more game time to the likes of Laporte and Ake instead of getting a new player.

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They also have other priorities. The Citizens are heavily linked with a move for Harry Kane but they are still £40m short of Tottenham Hotspur’s valuation for the striker, according to a report by Daily Star. Their funds, therefore, are better utilized on players that can significantly strengthen their starting XI, such as signing Kane to potentially replace the departed Sergio Aguero.