Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle beat AC Milan with Botman medical booked, as second deal complications spark intriguing Chelsea play

Lille centre-back Sven Botman battling Chelsea attacker Kai Havertz

Newcastle have made a Sven Botman breakthrough and a medical is booked, though complications in a second deal have prompted talk of a Chelsea swoop instead, per reports.

The Magpies have long been linked with a move for Dutch international, Sven Botman. Their interest dates back to January, though Newcastle found it hard to land their primary targets while their Premier League status was far from secure.

Yet Eddie Howe worked miracles with those he did sign and the prospects of getting relegated are unlikely to trouble Newcastle moving forward.

Adding star power in the centre of defence remains a priority for the Saudi-backed club. Botman remains firmly fixed in their sights, and per Fabrizio Romano, a deal is on the cusp.

The transfer guru tweeted the 22-year-old Lille ace will travel to Tyneside next week to undergo a medical. That procedure has been pencilled into the calendar and if passed, Botman will sign on the dotted line.

Newcastle will reportedly pay Lille €37m prior to add-ons. That equates to roughly £32m.

A deal at that price represents a serious coup for the Magpies who were determined not to be held to ransom by Lille. Indeed, the French side were reportedly holding out for a fee far closer to £40m.

But with chief competition AC Milan failing to strike, the door was left ajar for Newcastle and they’ve duly walked through.

However, the news regarding the club’s pursuit of Reims striker Hugo Ekitike is far less positive.

Ekitike deal falling apart

Like Botman, Ekitike was chased by Newcastle in the winter window. The Magpies reignited their interest this summer and talk of a deal totalling £25.6m had swelled.

However, contact between Ekitike’s camp and Newcastle reportedly went cold once the striker went on a recent holiday. Per Romano, the silent treatment is manifesting itself as frustration on Tyneside.

The journalist added there are ‘negative feelings’ around getting an Ekitike deal done. Newcastle are deemed ‘definitely not happy’ with how the situation is unfolding.

Hugo Ekitike after being sent off for Reims

Sky Sports‘ Keith Downie added his take, telling GiveMeSport: “I have to say, the longer this goes on, and the more noises that come out from his people and Newcastle are willing to walk away.

“I mean, it was described to me yesterday as Newcastle are getting frustrated because the whole transfer has been difficult. And I think that’s putting it lightly to be honest. I think they are getting frustrated.”

Chelsea deal a perfect alternative?

Should Newcastle abandon the move, the i newspaper claimed Chelsea’s Armando Broja could become the new focus of Howe’s attention.

West Ham have also drawn links with the 20-year-old who established himself while on loan at Southampton last year.

The Northern Echo report Newcastle have taken the lead, lodging a formal enquiry to Chelsea about the marksman.

If the Ekitike move collapses, the funds allocated for his deal could ultimately make their way to Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle hitting their stride in the market

Once Botman arrives, Newcastle’s tally of first-team arrivals this summer will swell to three.

Matt Targett’s loan move was turned permanent, while Nick Pope arrived from Burnley.

While they aren’t the highest of profile names in Europe, few would argue they represent bad business, especially at the prices they’ve commanded (£15m and £10m respectively).

What’s more, Eddie Howe proved he can work wonders with signings that aren’t in the £50m+ bracket.

While Botman and co. aren’t Erling Haaland-calibre deals, they are certain to help Newcastle on their journey to challenging for top four in the coming years.