Newcastle United could still be in with a chance of signing Lille defender Sven Botman, despite suggestions that the Dutchman is on his way to AC Milan.
That is the view of journalist Jacque Talbot, who – when speaking to GIVEMESPORT – suggested that the Magpies will be in the running for his signature, should he come back onto the market this summer.
Asked whether Eddie Howe and co could come back in for him in the upcoming window if his alleged move to the San Siro doesn’t take place, the respected insider admitted that is a possibility: “I’m told that that will be the case. I think with AC Milan, it sort of depends on the takeover that’s going on there.
“And I think Sven Botman’s probably one of the most exciting centre-backs in European football at the moment, and I think a lot of clubs will have a look at him rather than just AC Milan and Newcastle.”
The northeast side had been heavily linked with a move for the 22-year-old back in January, although were ultimately unable to get a deal done, as the centre-back stayed put for the remainder of the campaign.
It would seem then that there is hope renewed that the £27m-rated gem will be plying his trade at St James’ Park next term, with supporters seemingly desperate to see the Netherlands U21 international added to their defensive ranks.
While £13m winter arrival Dan Burn has proved a revelation in recent months, the former Brighton and Hove Albion brute was seemingly not a first-choice target, with the club looking set to bolster the backline with a high profile upgrade.
In Botman, PIF could well have found the ideal fit, with the £18k-per-week colossus having enjoyed another fine campaign in Ligue 1, the 6 foot 5 giant averaging 4.5 clearances, one tackle and one interception per game in his 25 league outings.
The subject of praise from legendary defender Paolo Maldini, the former Ajax youth product appears to have all the tools to be a success at the elite level, with both his stature and his ability in possession – enjoying an 88% pass accuracy last term – making him an all-around asset to any side.
Having shipped 62 goals in the 2021/22 season – the sixth-highest in the Premier League – Newcastle are crying out for a more solid figure to shore up their defensive unit, with Botman seemingly the man to do the job.
As for supporters, his arrival would mark yet another statement of intent under the new ownership and would only serve to build excitement as to just how far this team – and this club – can go in the coming years.