Sven Botman will leave Lille this summer and Newcastle United remain intent on signing him, according to Fabrizio Romano.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
Botman was the subject of a number of bids from Newcastle during the January transfer window, only for Lille to snub the interest at every turn.
At 22 and already excelling in one of Europe’s major leagues, the Dutchman is hot property. Indeed, Manchester United and AC Milan have both been linked with moves, although the player has previously admitted he was attracted by the “fun” and excitement of the Newcastle project.
According to Romano, the club remain in the race to sign the central defender while Milan have also made a proposal.
Why are Newcastle so keen on Botman?
While Dan Burn has hit the ground running since his arrival, the 30-year-old remains the only central defender Newcastle have signed since the summer of 2018.
That area of the squad has been underfunded for years now and both Botman and Diego Carlos were pursued in January, indicating Newcastle were keen on making a number of signings there. Carlos, of course, is heading to Aston Villa but Botman looks a much better longer-term investment.
With so much of his career ahead of him, the former Jong Ajax youngster has already impressed. According to FBREF data, he ranks within Europe’s leading 65% of central defenders playing across the big five leagues over the past year for blocks (1.99), clearances (4.76) and aerial duels won (3) per game.
In January, The Athletic claimed “he is viewed as a player who would immediately improve Newcastle’s defence and who could grow with the club on their ambitious project.”
What has been said about Botman?
Speaking on The Transfer Window Podcast in 2021, journalist Duncan Castles revealed some interesting insight from Jose Fonte, who has played with Botman at Lille.
“Fonte has played with an array of top-class centre-backs in his career including Virgil van Dijk, Toby Alderweireld, Pepe in the Portuguese national team and Gabriel last season who is now at Arsenal,” he said
“From what I understand of Fonte’s impression of Botman, he thinks he’s the best of all of them.
‘He describes him as a machine and a man who doesn’t make mistakes.’