Sven Botman to Newcastle United: ‘Nonsense’ agent update, fresh asking price, hopeful Eddie Howe stance

The 21-year-old is understood to be a key target for the Magpies as they look to strengthen this month.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 8:35 am

Sven Botman . (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Newcastle United may have to break their transfer record to sign Lille centre-back Sven Botman before the end of the January transfer window.

The Dutch defender has been heavily linked with a move to Tyneside by various reports in recent weeks, but where as there have been previous suggestions that his current employers would look to hold on to their asset, the Northern Echo now claim that the French club have shifted their stance - and have set an asking price.

Here’s everything you need to know about Botman’s future and the Magpies’ reported interest, as things stand...

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Lille’s asking price

According to a report from the Northern Echo, Lille are holding out for a fee of around £45 million if they are to let Botman leave this month.

That figure would represent a transfer record for the Toon Army’s, whose largest expenditure to date was the £39.6 million they paid for Joelinton in 2019.

Newcastle are understood to have already had two bids rejected for the Dutchman, with Lille reportedly rebuffing an improved offer of around £35 million last week.

The Echo also suggest that the Magpies have a transfer budget of around £100 million to spend this month, with £12 million already paid out to bring in Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

A potential £45 million deal for Botman would take their total spend to £67 million - roughly two thirds of their overall reported budget.

Agent update

As quoted by CalcioMercato, Botman’s agent, Francesco Miniero, rubbished suggestions that his client had rejected a move to Newcastle.

“We are talking about one of the strongest central defenders in the world, not only in Europe, also considering his age,” Miniero said. “I don’t know who in Italy can afford such a player.

“Milan are an interested club like others, but how it will end I don’t know. The Rossoneri are one of the three most important clubs in the world, as history says. But Lille are also playing in the Champions League.

“Rejected Newcastle? I think it’s nonsense. The biggest obstacle is to convince Lille. Newcastle is an important club, playing in an important league such as the Premier. It is true that their situation in the standings is risky, but let’s see what will happen in these 24-days.”

Eddie Howe’s stance

Speaking after Newcastle’s shock FA Cup exit at the hands of League One Cambridge United on Saturday afternoon, Toon head coach Howe expressed his hope that there will be at least one new arrival at the club ahead of next weekend’s game against relegation rivals Watford.

The Magpies boss told BBC Radio Newcastle: “We would love to [bring in another new signing].

“I think you can see what Kieran did to the team. The response to him was first class.

“New signings at this moment would breathe new confidence into the team. So, fingers crossed.”

The Magpies are, however, also said to be on the hunt for a new striker, with Callum Wilson set to be sidelined for eight weeks with a calf tear.