Sven Botman has explained his reasoning behind snubbing a switch to AC Milan in favour of joining Newcastle United this summer.
The Netherlands international was tipped for a move to Tyneside in the January transfer window, but Eddie Howe ended up landing Dan Burn from Brighton instead.
However, the move was resurrected and Botman completed a £35million move to St James’ Park on Tuesday.
And the centre-back cannot wait to get going in the famous Newcastle black and white.
He said (quotes via Sport Witness): “I have earned my Airmiles again. My transfer from SC Heerenveen to Lille was a nice step. But you can tell from everything that this is a mega deal.
“A lot is coming at me. Although that is partly my own fault, because I want everything, from house to car and from a bank account to English phone number, to be arranged before the training sessions start.”
“That last one has been a dream my whole life. AC Milan also gave me a good feeling. But Newcastle United felt just a little better in the end.
“I really wanted to go to Newcastle United in January, because I also heard, and that’s a cliché, I know, that a train like this doesn’t pass by very often. But the clubs couldn’t figure it out.
No regrets over turning down January move
“And afterwards this might be better, because I can now experience a lot of preparation. And I was able to say goodbye to Lille in a beautiful way. That club deserved it.
“Staying wasn’t a punishment for me in January either. Because I knew there were two great Champions League games against Chelsea coming up. I now have that baggage too.”
Botman is expected to make his Newcastle debut in their Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest at St James’ on August 6.
He is also expected to be joined with some new teammates at the club, as Howe looks to bolster his squad further.
Reported interest in Manchester United star Scott McTominay appears to be unfounded though.
There have been rumours that new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag is looking to offload the Scotland international. However, that’s not the case and the midfielder is expected to remain at Old Trafford.