Newcastle United have reportedly reached ‘full agreement’ with Lille for the signing of highly-rated central defender Sven Botman, with a move now imminent.

According to a report from The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Newcastle United have reached an agreement with Lille for the transfer of highly-rated Dutch central defender Sven Botman. The two clubs have agreed on a fee of around €37 million-plus add-ons for the 22-year-old, who is also being courted by AC Milan.

The Magpies have been tracking the Dutch defender since January when they had two bids rejected by Lille for the 22-year-old. Botman has been identified as a priority target for Newcastle this summer, but Milan’s interest had complicated a move and turned the player’s head.

Newcastle had been left frustrated with a lack of progress in their pursuit of Botman despite having tabled the largest bid at the start of this month. They were even ready to walk away from a potential move due to Lille’s steep pricing after submitting a ‘take it or leave it’ proposal to the Ligue 1 club, sounding out other targets as well.

It appears their strategy has worked out that a middle ground has been reached between the two clubs over transfer fees. Reports of a potential breakthrough in Botman’s pursuit surfaced this week, claiming that the defender is now on the cusp of securing a move to St. James’ Park after Lille indicated they are ready to accept Newcastle’s latest proposal worth €37 million, blowing AC Milan out of the race.

Newcastle are thought to have offered Botman a five-year deal running until 2027, and personal terms are not expected to be a problem, with Daily Telegraph insisting that the 22-year-old has always been keen on a move to Tyneside— even though Italian media constantly reported that his heart was set on a move to San Siro — implying that agreeing a fee with Lille was proving to be the major hurdle, rather than the player’s preference.

Nonetheless, Newcastle are in pole position to secure his signature. Botman is expected to fly to the Northeast next week to complete his medical and final paperwork, drawing a fruitful end to the six-month transfer saga from Newcastle’s perspective, as they refused to give up on the deal throughout.

Should the deal get completed as expected, Botman will become Newcastle’s third summer signing after Matt Targett and Nick Pope. However, it is the arrival of the defender that is getting Newcastle supporters excited.

And why not? After all, they have beaten the reigning Serie A champions and a European powerhouse as AC Milan to the signature of one of the best young defenders in European football. At just 22 years old, Botman boasts leadership qualities to complement his ball-playing and defending skills and is of a pedigree that Newcastle would have struggled to attract prior to their takeover last year.

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