Newcastle United will reportedly make a fresh bid to beat AC Milan to the signing of Lille’s Dutch defensive powerhouse Sven Botman.
According to Football Insider, Newcastle United are lining up another approach for 22-year-old Lille defender Sven Botman in an attempt to resurrect a potential transfer deal. However, the momentum has swung out of the Magpies’ favour, with Serie A giants AC Milan looking likely to bag the Dutchman.
The Serie A leaders have jumped ahead of Newcastle in the battle to sign the Lille centre-back this summer, and they are closely working to finalise an agreement in the coming weeks. And it seems they are in pole position to get the deal over the line. However, as per the report, Newcastle have not downed tools in their pursuit of Botman after extensive talks over a potential deal in January and intend to make an offer as nothing has been rubber-stamped just yet.
Newcastle pushed hard to sign the central defender in January and made a number of approaches but failed to agree on a fee with the Ligue 1 club, who were demanding a £30 million fee. Newcastle only offered £27 million for him in January, but Lille stood their ground, and the deal eventually fell through.
The Magpies remain keen on sealing a swoop for the highly-rated central defender and have earmarked him as their priority target for the summer. Botman himself is said to be keen on the move, describing it as a ‘nice project’ when the transfer links first re-emerged while also admitting that AC Milan is ‘a beautiful club’.
The Rossoneri have been eager to sign Botman from the get-go, having identified him as a potential replacement for Alessio Romagnoli, who is set to leave San Siro when his contract expires in the summer. Milan aim to pair Botman alongside Fikayo Tomori for the long haul.
Newcastle, meanwhile, broke a three-game losing streak in the Premier League with a hard-fought victory over Wolves on Friday night at St. James’ Park. Newcastle finished the January transfer window by strengthening their central defensive ranks by forking out £13 million for Dan Burn, who has since established a rock-solid partnership alongside Fabian Schar.
Yet, with almost all central defenders at the club either approaching or in their thirties, Eddie Howe is determined to bolster his options at the heart of the Newcastle defence with an exciting young defender in the off-season.
And Botman fits the criteria as he would bring a winning mindset to Tyneside, having won the Ligue 1 title ahead of PSG last season while clinching the French Super Cup and reaching the Champions League Round of 16 earlier in the current campaign. Despite still being in the early stages of his career, the 22-year-old boasts plenty of experience and has over 100 senior appearances at the club level.
Predictably, Newcastle hold the better economic power, while AC Milan will rely on their history, and prestige and are set to book a place in European football’s elite club competition for next season. As it stands, both clubs have agreed on personal terms with the player and remain in talks with Lille over a potential deal.