Newcastle have been told of the benefits in signing Sven Botman from Lille, although a major stumbling block seems to have appeared.
Botman is a valuable centre-back who looks set for a big-money move this year. Last season he made 37 appearances as Lille won their first Ligue 1 title in 10 years.
Botman’s impressive form has continued this campaign. He recently returned from a groin injury and has helped the French side to go unbeaten in their last four matches.
The 21-year-old is one of Newcastle’s top transfer targets this month, alongside Atletico star Kieran Trippier.
And pundit Paddy Kenny thinks Botman’s capture may ‘open the floodgates’ for more impressive signings.
“Look, it would be a huge statement,” Kenny told Football Insider. “This is a guy who is a regular in a side that is in the Champions League knockout stages.
“If he was to sign for a team facing relegation, yeah, that would be a massive boost.
“For me, I think it would open the floodgates for more players. Once they get a couple in, others might want to come.
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“They will see a team who are serious about staying up and who are working hard to achieve that.
“Obviously this guy will instantly improve the defence as well and that’s what Newcastle really need.”
However, it will not be easy to land the Netherlands U21 international. According to The Telegraph, Lille have told Newcastle he is not for sale.
A fee of £30m has reportedly been discussed, but the reigning French champions are reluctant to let Botman go mid-season.
They see him as vital to their hopes of qualifying for Europe this term.
The transfer stance means Newcastle may have to put up far more than his £30m valuation to complete a deal.
Newcastle warned over rumoured Arsenal raid
Meanwhile, talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino has been speaking about the Magpies’ potential move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Mirror claim Eddie Howe’s side want to loan the Arsenal forward for the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign. A permanent move worth £20m has also been touted for the summer.
But Cascarino thinks this would be a bad idea on Newcastle’s behalf. “He’s someone who is not in the Arsenal first team, let’s get that right,” he said.
“Do you want a player who is going to show commitment, running, doing all the ugly stuff in the game that you’re going to need to survive? Does he do that very well? I’d say that’s the worst part of his game.
“Is he a quality footballer that can turn a game in a moment? At his best, yes. But when has he last done that regularly? Not very often this season, even towards the end of last season.
“I don’t see this deal being a good one for Newcastle at all.
“I think it will be more of an air of is Aubameyang doing Newcastle a favour and I probably think, no, he’s not going to be doing them a favour.”