Newcastle United are set to turn their attentions to alternative centre-back targets after being dealt a blow in their pursuit of Lille’s Sven Botman.
The Magpies have been admirers of the 22-year-old since their £300million takeover back in October and were keen to reach an agreement with Lille back in January.
But the Ligue 1 champions weren’t willing to sell Botman in January as Newcastle were forced to look for alternatives. They were eventually able to land a left-sided centre-back on deadline day with Dan Burn joining from Brighton & Hove Albion for £13million – but the interest in Botman remained.
Newcastle are keen on reviving their pursuit of Botman at the end of the 2021-22 season but their chances of securing the Dutchman’s signature are growing increasingly unlikely.
This week it has been widely reported that Serie A giants AC Milan have come to a verbal agreement with Botman regarding a permanent transfer this summer.
While Milan won’t be able to match Newcastle on the financial front, having such an agreement provisionally in place puts them in pole position to secure the player.
As a result, Newcastle will be forced to look for alternatives in the summer transfer window. Defensive reinforcements are crucial for Eddie Howe's side ahead of the new season and securing a place in the Premier League is a necessity in order to acquire top targets.
Here we look at a list of several defensive options that have been linked with Newcastle and assess their chances of making the switch to St James’s Park…
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1. LILLE, FRANCE - MARCH 16: Sven Botman of Lille OSC during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Lille OSC and Chelsea FC at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on March 16, 2022 in Lille, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Sven Botman of Lille OSC during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Lille OSC and Chelsea FC at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on March 16, 2022 in Lille, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Photo: Catherine Ivill
2. Lloyd Kelly - AFC Bournemouth
Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe is understood to be an admirer of the 23-year-old Bournemouth captain. Like Botman, he is a left-sided centre-back and has demonstrated fine leadership qualities at a young age as he looks to take The Cherries back to the Premier League. Kelly remains unproven at Premier League level with just eight top flight appearances to his name, but Newcastle remain keen.
Photo: Alex Burstow
3. James Tarkowski - Burnley
Heavily linked with Newcastle during the winter window, it will be interesting to see if they come back in for the Burnley defender with his contract set to expire at the end of the season. He is proven at Premier League level and has also represented England. In January, a deal most certainly made sense, but with greater options available in the summer, will Howe be tempted to look elsewhere?
Photo: Alex Livesey
4. John Stones - Manchester City
The Magpies have been linked with an ambitious move for Manchester City and England defender John Stones this summer. The 27-year-old has made just nine Premier League starts so far this season and could be open to the idea of regular top flight football during a World Cup year. Much like Trippier in January, it would be a real statement if Newcastle were able to pull this one off.
Photo: Michael Regan