Newcastle United close in on Ligue 1 title winning centre-back as £35m fee is agreed

Newcastle have taken a major step towards signing their number one defensive transfer target, Sven Botman.

The Magpies have agreed a £35million transfer fee with Lille OSC for the Dutch defender, who is expected to travel to Newcastle for a medical next week. 

Botman has been Eddie Howe's number one defensive target during this summer transfer window.

The club attempted to sign the player in January, however negotiations with the French outfit proved unsuccessful.

Newcastle weren't the only team interested in Botman's services, with the north-east outfit forced to fight off competition from Serie A champions AC Milan.

The 22-year-old centre-back has played 79 games for Lille and helped the team to a sensational Ligue 1 title triumph in the 2020/21 campaign.

This season, the club faced a number of personnel and financial challenges, which ultimately led to a disappointing 10th placed finish.

Nevertheless, the player did pick up more silverware after the club beat PSG to claim the 2021 Trophee des Champions.

Earlier in his career, Botman played for the second team at Ajax and also enjoyed a season on loan at Eredivisie outfit, SC Heerenveen.

Negotiations continue over Hugo Ekitike

Hugo Ekitike Reims Oct21

Newcastle's hopes of signing another Ligue 1 star in Hugo Ekitike have proved problematic.

The Magpies are still in talks with Reims over a possible transfer, but the Premier League club are prepared to step away if negotiations continue to stall.

Howe's men have already done business in the summer window, having sealed the signatures of Aston Villa's Matt Targett and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.

READ MORE: Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips on brink of joining Manchester City as transfer fee is agreed

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