AC Milan legend’s 12-word response to Sven Botman question amid Newcastle United transfer hope

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Newcastle United hopes of landing Sven Botman this summer have been given a boost with the news AC Milan are yet to come to an agreement to sign the player.

It has been widely expected, and reported in the Italian press, that the Netherlands prospect would put pen to paper at the newly-crowned Serie A champions this summer.

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However, club legend and current technical director Paolo Maldini has cast doubt on the move being a cast iron certainty while speaking to Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport in an exclusive interview.

Sven Botman of Lille OSC  during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Lille OSC and Chelsea FC at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on March 16, 2022 in Lille, France.Sven Botman of Lille OSC  during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Lille OSC and Chelsea FC at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on March 16, 2022 in Lille, France.
Sven Botman of Lille OSC during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Lille OSC and Chelsea FC at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on March 16, 2022 in Lille, France. | Getty Images

The Magpies tried and failed to land Botman from French outfit Lille in the January window, with the Ligue 1 side determined not to lose the central defender with the club still fighting it out in the Champions League.

However, with the season over and the playing keen to exit, that stance has softened.

Talks between Botman’s representatives - headed up by agent Nikkie Bruinenberg - and Milan are understood to have progressed well at the back end of the season and terms, as reported elsewhere, are believed to have been agreed.

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But the door has been left ajar for United to barge through - and Maldini’s comments suggest this is no deal deal.

Paolo Maldini, Technical Director of AC Milan (R) congratulates his son Daniel Maldini of AC Milan (L) after their side finished the season as Serie A champions during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC Milan at Mapei Stadium - Citta’ del Tricolore on May 22, 2022 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy. Paolo Maldini, Technical Director of AC Milan (R) congratulates his son Daniel Maldini of AC Milan (L) after their side finished the season as Serie A champions during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC Milan at Mapei Stadium - Citta’ del Tricolore on May 22, 2022 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy.
Paolo Maldini, Technical Director of AC Milan (R) congratulates his son Daniel Maldini of AC Milan (L) after their side finished the season as Serie A champions during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC Milan at Mapei Stadium - Citta’ del Tricolore on May 22, 2022 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy. | Getty Images

On Botman, Maldini said: “We followed him, but there are many good players in that role.”

And when comparison is made between his comments on the 21-year-old and those on outgoing Liverpool striker Divock Origi, a deal widely understood to be at a similar stage of negotiations, the differences are stark.

Maldini continued: “Sure, we are talking with (Divock) Origi, this is well advanced. Let’s not forget that (Olivier) Giroud is a champion, a high-level player. But we also have (Ante) Rebic. The solutions are there. Then it is normal that to compete you have to think about improving something. We will move according to the budget.”

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