The technical director of AC Milan, Paulo Maldini has praised Dutch centre back Sven Botman amid transfer speculation linking the Lille defender to the Rossoneri.

AC Milan have been linked with a move for the Netherlands U21 international this month, but face stiff competition from Newcastle United, who have already had a big bid for Botman rejected.

Speaking to DAZN, Maldini said on Botman, “Botman is a great player. But he’s not the only good defender in the world. And he is still owned by Lille and has a contract until 2024.”

Maldini confirms that AC Milan is desperate for a centre-back, “We really need a defender due to Simon Kjaer’s injury. That problem can be solved in several ways.

“We could hire a player for six months or we are fully committed to the arrival of a player for the coming years. But then we have to determine the price.”

Lille reportedly wants around €40 million to part with Botman.

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