Dan Ashworth appearance sparks talk of Newcastle United deal for Sven Botman

The Magpies sporting director had more than one reason to be on hand to watch one of United’s primary transfer targets.
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Newcastle United made a personal check on transfer target Sven Botman when the Netherlands defender in international action on Saturday night.

The Lille centre-back featured for the opening 45 minutes as the Dutch Under-21s sneaked a win against their Wales counterparts at the Parc y Scarlets.

A late goal from Feyenoord defender Lutsharel Geertruida helped to visitors to a win against a Welsh side managed by former Newcastle loan signing Paul Bodin.

Magpies sporting director Dan Ashworth was in the stands as Botman played during the first-half before being replaced by Wolfsburg centre-back Micky van de Ven.

Ashworth’s appearance has sparked talk that United could have made a breakthrough in their bid to sign Botman - but there was another reason for the Magpies director to be in the stands.

Ashworth’s son Zac was named amongst the Wales substitutes although is still awaiting his first Under-21 cap after being named in matchday squads for fixtures against Bulgaria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The speculation over a deal for Botman is ongoing and Italian TV channels have now reported AC Milan have walked away from a move after Newcastle reportedly submitted a ‘bumper bid’ for the defender.

Botman addressed his future during his time on international duty and confirmed he is expecting to leave Lille during the summer.

He told Dutch outlet Algemeen Dagblad: “I don’t know (if I have played my last game for Lille)but I think so.

“I intend to take a step. Talks are underway now.

“I won’t go into all of that, but it’s going well. I do hope that the transfer for the new season is completed. Preferably also for the pre-season, yes.”

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