According to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein, Newcastle United’s pursuit of Lille centre-back Sven Botman is hotting up as they look to add the Dutchman to their ranks this month.
Newcastle have reportedly submitted an improved bid for the 21-year-old defender who is the Magpies’ top target for the transfer window. The Dutchman is reportedly keen on a move to the North East.
Botman has made 17 Ligue 1 appearances for the reigning French champions so far this season, who haven’t enjoyed a campaign similar to that of last year with Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side sat in 8th place.
However, the 21-year-old was a kingpin last season as Lille went on to win their first league title in 10 years, making 47 appearances in all competitions, keeping 21 clean sheets in the process.
It is no wonder that Botman is Newcastle’s main target for this transfer window with the Toon Army’s defensive woes being an issue for numerous seasons.
This campaign, in particular, has been a struggle for Eddie Howes’ side with Newcastle the Premier League’s joint-worst defenders, conceding 42 goals in their 19 games.
Moreover, the Tyneside club remains in a precarious position as they’re currently sat in 19th place with the threat of relegation still very real.
Newcastle haven’t quite had a defender as influential as Fabricio Coloccini since the Argentinian left the North-East in 2016 with the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schär, Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez struggling to make a similar impact.
However, Botman could prove to be the closest the Magpies have come to replacing the services of their former centre-back, with the £27m-rated Lille man labelled “a great player” by legendary ex-defender Paulo Maldini.
With Howe struggling to plug the gap at the back, the 21-year-old defender could prove to be a revelation, with there being little doubt that the Netherlands U-21 centre-back would be a vast improvement on the Magpies’ current options.
There is little doubt that Newcastle’s new Saudi owners will be spending this transfer window and have already made their first statement signing, adding right-back Kieran Trippier to their ranks from Atletico Madrid.
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