With Liverpool desperate to sign a centre-half before the transfer window shuts this coming Monday, alleged target Sven Botman could prove increasingly enticing in light of French football’s continuing financial struggles.
Injuries to Joel Matip, the Reds’ remaining senior centre-half, and Fabinho appear to have changed the club’s attitude to transfers, with the winter window deadline ever-looming.
“French football is in deep financial trouble as a result of the collapsed Mediapro TV deal, and while a new broadcaster will be found the money for the product is less,” Dave Powell wrote for the Echo. “The LFP, the governing body of French professional football, had to take out a €120m bank loan and a €224m sum borrowed from the French government to ensure clubs received some money after Mediapro, whose €780m per year deal was only signed in 2018, failed to make two payment instalments of €172.3m and €152.5m that were due in October and December.
“In December, JP Morgan and Elliott Management, Lille’s two major creditors, forced the hand of the club’s embattled owner Gerard Lopez to sell the club to a hedge fund, Merlyn Partners,” the Business of Football writer added. “They remain a club €125m in debt, loss making and faced with an uncertain financial landscape owing to the impact of the Mediapro collapse, something brought about after COVID-19 shut down sport back in March.”
It’s not a pretty picture being painted of French football, and certainly not something we’d wish to continue for clubs like Lille.
The brutal reality of this, however, is that it is a situation Liverpool and several other clubs can, and will, capitalise on.
Though speculation linking the Dutch centre-back with an Anfield switch this January was strongly denied by those close to the side, our current circumstances, combined with Ligue 1’s financial plight, could very well change minds.
At 21-years-old, the former Ajax man represents the ideal target for Jurgen Klopp – someone who will stick around for the long-term project.
We at the EOTK realise that many more factors than age will be taken into consideration, however, with the clock ticking, can we really afford to be picky when presented with the potential opportunity of a cut-price move for a highly-rated, young defender?