Newcastle: 'Deciding factor' in Sven Botman transfer race

Newcastle United could miss out on welcoming long-term target Sven Botman to St James’ Park because fellow suitors AC Milan are expected to be able to offer Champions League football, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Magpies remain keen on sealing a deal for the Lille central defender but AC Milan are currently top of the Serie A standings and, as it stands, are set to book a place in European football’s elite club competition for next season.

What’s the latest news involving Botman?

Botman appears to be open to joining Newcastle when the summer transfer window opens for business as he told Ziggo Sport, via the Daily Star, he feels the Magpies boast a ‘very nice project’ but also admitted AC Milan are ‘a beautiful club’.

It comes after the Tynesiders became the richest club in world football thanks to the Saudi Arabia-based Public Investment Fund leading a £305million takeover last October.

Co-owner Amanda Staveley has revealed a deal for Botman could come to fruition at the end of the season as she claimed the 6 ft 5 central defender ‘desperately wanted to come’ to St James’ Park in January and still ‘very much’ does.

Newcastle failed to tie up the transfer despite holding discussions over a £30million switch with Lille during the winter transfer window.

The Magpies are not the only Premier League club coveting Botman’s services as he is understood to be on Tottenham Hotspur’s wishlist heading into the summer.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Botman?

O’Rourke is expecting Newcastle to be left frustrated in their attempts to seal a deal for Botman.

The journalist feels AC Milan are in pole position to win the race for the nine-cap Netherlands under-21s international.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “Milan are a massive club. They have been following Sven Botman for a long time and the trump card they’ve got over Newcastle is it looks like they will probably be able to offer Champions League football next season.

“That might just be the deciding factor in their pursuit of the Dutch international.”

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Why is Botman of interest to Newcastle?

Botman is understood to have been Newcastle’s top defensive target during the January transfer window, so they are clearly long-term admirers of the centre-half.

Head coach Eddie Howe ended up strengthening his options at the heart of the Magpies’ defence by forking out £13million for Brighton & Hove Albion ace Dan Burn.

But Botman would bring a winning mentality to Tyneside having got his hands on the Ligue One title with Lille last season and also clinched the French Super Cup at the beginning of the current campaign.

Despite still being in the early stages of his career, the 22-year-old offers plenty of experience and recently moved beyond 100 senior appearances at club level.

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