Lille have hinted that they have agreed to let Newcastle and Tottenham target Sven Botman leave the Ligue 1 club this summer.
Botman was a target for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle in the January transfer window, but they could not get the Dutch ace to St James’ Park. Instead the Geordies added Brighton’s Dan Burn to their ranks in a £13m deal.
But the club remain interested in the 22-year-old and Botman was recently named by the Mirror as someone Newcastle would pursue next time round. That has since been corroborated by the Athletic (via Goal), who reveal Newcastle are making moves.
They state Newcastle are ‘already drawing up plans’ to add Botman to their ranks.
A reported offer worth £33.4m was rejected for Botman in January. Common sense would dictate a bid of at least that amount will be required in the summer.
However, The Telegraph are claiming that Spurs have joined the race, which may push up the asking price.
Football director Fabio Paratici is said to be surveying young defenders. Antonio Conte utilises a 3-4-3 formation and his current options look threadbare.
Lille are unlikely to stand in the way of Botman in the summer and Lille president Olivier Letang has hinted that a deal has been agreed to let him move on in the summer.
Letang told Le Parisien via GFFN: “Sven already had opportunities to leave last summer. I told him that he wouldn’t leave and that we would discuss it again at the end of the season.
“He’s a great person and a top player who deserves to play in a club that can win the Champions League.
“If there’s something which allows everyone to be satisfied next summer, we will discuss it. It’s important to stick to your commitments.”
Botman makes his own decisions
Botman’s agent last week namechecked Newcastle.
Speaking to Dutch outlet Voetbal International (via InsideFutbol), Botman’s agent, Nikkie Bruinenberg, stoked the fires over a summer switch.
“The great thing about Sven is that he is a boy who makes his own choices and charts his own path”, said Bruinenberg.
“After his spell at SC Heerenveen, he could have taken his chance to return to Ajax, because he had just extended there. Instead, he decided to go to Lille and embark on an adventure there.
“In hindsight, that sounds very logical, but you have to take dare as a young player. That way of thinking will continue to guide him in the future.
“He is ready for a step higher in the summer, AC Milan and Newcastle United are very nice clubs.”