'Nonsense': Agent slams claims £40m star has rejected Newcastle transfer
Francesco Miniero has told Calciomercato.it that claims LOSC Lille centre-back Sven Botman has rejected a transfer to Newcastle United are ‘nonsense’.
The Magpies are striving to seal a deal for the Dutchman this month to improve Eddie Howe’s defence. No Premier League side has conceded more goals (42) than the Toon so far this season. Norwich City are also the only team with a worse goal difference.
Lille are playing hard ball trying to retain the 21-year-old, however, as they look compete in the Champions League. They also remain in contention to qualify for next season, despite a difficult Ligue 1 title defence.
Newcastle have already seen Lille reject a €35m (£29m) bid for Botman’s transfer in January, per Fabrizio Romano. But The Athletic note they have submitted an improved offer, as Les Dogues look to earn £40m for the defender.
Miniero rubbishes claims Lille ace Botman snubbed Newcastle transfer
Newcastle’s position in the Premier League relegation zone has put hurdles in their transfer pursuit of Lille’s Botman. Chronicle Live report his agency, Muy Manero, have often raised ‘what if’ questions, given the threat of falling into the Championship.
Miniero, a director at Muy Manero, also notes the Toon’s position is ‘tricky’. But adds Botman has not rejected a transfer to Newcastle, and Lille are the biggest obstacle.
“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.”
AC Milan are keen to sign Botman and beat Newcastle to a transfer for the Lille enforcer as Simon Kjaer needed knee surgery. The Dane sustained a season-ending injury in December to deny Stefano Pioli his favoured centre-half.
But while Calciomercato have reported Botman is Milan’s ideal replacement, Lille’s asking price threatens their pursuit of the Newcastle target.
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