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Fabrizio Romano offers big update on 22-year-old league winner that will hurt Newcastle fans

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Lille centre-back Sven Botman is ‘really close’ to joining Italian giants AC Milan.

After beating Paris Saint Germain to the Ligue 1 title last season, Lille have had a difficult season which could see them fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

With eight French top-flight games remaining, the reigning champions sit seventh in Ligue 1 and six points off third-placed Rennes who occupy the final Champions League spot.

In recent years, Lille have sold their prized assets for big money and then used the money to help rebuild a young talented group of players.

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Botman looks set to be the latest Lille star sold for big money and end his two-year stay at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy after being signed from Ajax.

The Netherlands international has been one of Newcastle’s top reported targets since the lucrative takeover was completed back in October.

The Magpies were keen to bring the nine-time Netherlands international to Tyneside in the January transfer window but Lille weren’t willing to lose Botman mid-season.

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Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley recently told the Athletic that Botman was desperate to sign for the St James’ Park side, saying: “We had to encourage players – ‘we’ll be a safe place for you, we’ll deliver and grow’.

“Some desperately wanted to come to us, like Sven (Botman), who still does very much and has talked very openly about that.

“We did everything. We never stopped. From the start to the finish, we did not stop working.”

But with AC Milan gunning for the Serie A title and able to offer Botman Champions League football next season, it looks like they have won the race to sign the coveted centre-halve.

Romano has revealed that the Rossoneri are ‘really close’ to completing the deal and that Botman is ‘ready to accept their proposal’.

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