Report: Ten Hag asks Man Utd chiefs to hijack Milan’s move for Lille star

By Oliver Fisher -

Manchester United have made a late attempt to hijack AC Milan’s deal for Lille defender Sven Botman, according to a report.

FootballInsider confirm that Milan are in advanced talks to sign the Dutch centre-back in a deal that would be worth £25m (roughly €30m) but a ‘United source’ has told the website that they have begun making their own moves to land him.

The incoming manager Erik ten Hag has spoken about plans for the summer window with director of football John Murtough, Ajax assistant Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren and some targets were brought up in that meeting, with Botman among them.

Ten Hag is understood to be an admirer of Botman, who is formerly of Ajax, and believes him to be a good fit for the Red Devils. Preliminary talks are expected to take place with the 22-year-old’s entourage, but whether it is enough to beat Milan in the race remains to be seen.


Tags AC Milan Sven Botman


  1. I don’t care. Botman is a great prospect but he was not great this year, much more solid last year (my brother is a Ligue 1 fan), and much different defense without Maignan for Lille this year so had seen Botman out of position frequently and he’s not very fast either to recover. He’ll grow for sure and has a very high ceiling though would be great to get him but if not I don’t really care, just keep what we have, re-sign Alessio and bring in one more young defender to come up in the ranks, should be fine.

  2. He’s not needed and he’s slow. Milan should go for an Italian DF. There are too many foreigners at the club.

      1. This tax decree is so sad, and why the national team is so hit or miss. It’s ruining the nation of Italy in footballing terms. It’s exactly why we are choosing origi (good but unproven in serie a) over belotti (would die for milan and proven in serie a year after year) and why we continue to go foreign.

        1. Yes you are 100% right. This is why Italians need to ditch serie a and FIGC. Their lousy policies and general lack of accountability has spearheaded the decline of Italian football since before 06.

        2. Here we go again. Belotti fanboy. Most good Premiership strikers perform better in Serie A. I’m tired of hearing about this rusty Belotti who just had a bad session in Torino.

  3. If he picks United good for him, I don’t think we should buy players that don’t really want to come.

      1. This is why this rumor, if true, may be a blessing in disguise. Given the performance of Tomori-Kalulu in the best defense in Europe since February, why would the club want to disrupt that? Let those two continue next season. Use the 30m to reinforce areas of greater need, like ST, RW, and AMC. I’m working under the assumption that a takeover will either not happen or happen to late to influence the summer transfer window. Therefore we only have the original 60m rumored to be available plus any money from outgoing transfers. If we pay 30m for Botman and 18m for Sanches it leaves almost nothing for the three positions we need the most help at, which is incredible.

        1. P.S. The only thing Botman seems to have over Kalulu at this point is size. He’s taller and bigger, which is also something that our squad lacks in general, but again it doesn’t seem to be hurting us too much at the moment.

          1. Exactly what I’ve been saying. Yes Kalulu and Tomori both don’t aerially mark very well, even Romagnoli is better at that and Botman would be a clear upgrade there as well as physical strength as neither Tomori or Kalulu are very strong/powerful defenders. However Botman is a downgrade in every other region and Kalulu and Tomori are still growing and already very good. I would not disrupt that at all. I would keep Romagnoli, Kjaer and Gabbia as backup or loan Gabbia out and get another youngster to grow like Lovato or somebody else, etc. Then spend the money saved on attack since we need a lot of pieces there (RW, 2 strikers, and an AM)

          2. Savo, Atalanta already bought Lovato this season. But in general I have been saying this for months. I’d rather spend 60M on a real top striker or RW than 30M on Botman and spend the rest on a striker and RW.

  4. It’s very simple. You want to see how he performed against a big team look at him vs Chelsea in UCL. First 10 mins of Chelsea home game was disastrous for him. Could not deal with Havertz’ movement who was having his way with him. Bailed out one time by the keeper. Suspect defending on the Havertz’ goal too as the near post was already covered by two teamates. At Lille, he was not fast enough on the Pulisic goal and lost positioning as the guy he stepped up to was already covered by another defender leaving the run into the space he left easy pickings for Pulisic. And because he wasn’t fast enough he couldn’t recover.
    His positioning is quite suspect and he is very slow.

    1. 100%. He’s big and strong and is a good prospect for sure and he could end up being amazing but he’s not the next coming of Stam or anything like that. Plus he’s not cheap, 30m+… not worth IMO. I do like the player just think we can spend a lot wiser based on our current squad.

      1. Exactly @Savo
        Also agreed with ur coent above, apart from aerial prowess and strength he’s not an upgrade in any other department to Kalulu and Tomori. The modern game has changed too. Back in the day teams sat deeper. This Milan plays very far up the pitch.

  5. This is typical tall defender. He must train to get slimmer body and fat. For example virgil van dijk, pau torres, or even alessandro bastoni

  6. With Kalulu playing the way he’s been playing, this could even be good news. I mean better to have Botman than not having him, but Kalulu deserves a chance in the starting XI alongside Tomori with the season he’s had and the new management can use that money to sign another prospect and invest in other areas or straight up try to snatch Bremer who I think would be better than Botman for Milan and is young too.

    1. Also true, I would get Bremer over him in a second. That is a proven Serie A defender with at least 5 years on top level. But we don’t need a defender, maybe a really young one.

  7. Yeah, get Omeragic as young backup. Do not destroy sth what is working – Kaluku and Tomori.

    Rather we buy 60m striker than 30m defender

  8. Many fans comment , don’t need botman. They forgot it is Paolo Maldini discover kalulu and Tomori, the same Paolo Maldini want botman. Left footed CB are very rare now. If kalulu and Tomori injured then AC Milan Will be destroyed since in bench only Kjaer that already have ACL,king gabbia that still don’t have experience,king romagnoli that always missing versus top striker. Botman already working together with maignan and have good chemistry also left footed CB,don’t forget he is like bonucci have good long ball ( playmaking defender) . Kalulu can still starter at RB replace Calabria. Don’t worry even if we buy botman ,we can still buy RW and AMF or striker if Ibra out. We have budget 100m euro from elliot and probably more 50m euro from new owner if we can get Scudetto, it is enough to buy RW and AMF

    1. Are you sure it’s Maldini that wants Botman or the media? If it’s Maldini of course I’ll go with his word any day. He can pick out things in defenders that most can’t see. But I did hear a backstory that he wasn’t sure why Milan bought Kalulu..which I hope was just a made up story

  9. Maldini wants Botman. And just because Ten Haag wants Man U to go after Botman doesn’t mean Botman doesn’t want to come to Milan. I believe he does want to come.

    I think next year we can play 3 centerbacks in a 3-4-3 formation so that Theo can be further up the pitch as a left wing back in that line of 4 (the way he does for French national team).

    Back like can have Tomori central, Botman to his left and Kalulu to his right. Botman is great aerially; but not as much speed. But Tomori and Kalulu have great speed — so those 3 guys can compliment each other well.

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