NEWCASTLE have reportedly intensified their pursuit of Lille defender Sven Botman.
And now the Magpies have ramped up negotiations with Lille regarding a £30million move, according to the Mail.
The 21-year-old Dutchman is understood to be ‘keen’ on a move to Newcastle, despite the club’s perilous league position.
Howe considers defensive signings as a priority, and has bookmarked Botman as one of his top targets.
Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly and Joe Rodon of Tottenham have also been linked with a move to Tyneside.
But it seems Botman is the man they want, as negotiations with Lille are ramped up ahead of the transfer window opening TOMORROW.
There has already been contact between the two clubs over a potential transfer, but now Newcastle seem to have taken a step closer to signing their man.
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AC Milan have also expressed an interest in Botman as a replacement for the injured Simon Kjaer, but are likely to be priced out by his £30m valuation.
Botman has played 63 times for Lille, helping the club to an unlikely Ligue 1 title last season ahead of hot favourites PSG.
And he could become Newcastle’s second signing under the new era at St. James’ Park following the £300m Saudi-backed takeover in October.
It’s claimed that England full-back Kieran Trippier could join the club next week as Howe’s first signing.
The club are confident that they can get a number of deals done in January in a bid to rocket up the Premier League table.
Although plans have had to be altered somewhat after Callum Wilson picked up a calf injury in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United.
Defensive reinforcements had been the priority, but the injury to Wilson means the club may also be forced to sign a striker.
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