Sven Botman breaks silence on failed Newcastle United move - and teases summer transfer

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Lille defender Sven Botman has described Newcastle as “a very nice project” after a potential move to Tyneside failed to materialise during the January transfer window.

The Dutch centre-back was viewed as one of the Magpies main transfer targets and speculation mounted that a move could be completed earlier this month.

However, to the Magpies frustration, the Ligue 1 club rejected several offers for the prized asset, who will now remain in France for the remainder of the season.

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After making two unsuccessful bids for the highly-rated defender, Newcastle’s hopes of securing Botman were ended by Lille president Olivier Letang just over two weeks ago.

He told RMC Sport: “We had enquiries last summer for Sven. But we were clear in saying that we needed Sven this season.

“We had a run in the Champions League and we managed to finish first in our group.

“We have big objectives for the end of the season so Sven will stay with us until the end of the season to help us achieve these objectives.”

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Botman has now addressed the speculation surrounding interest from Newcastle and Italian giant AC Milan and confirmed both clubs were “in very concrete talks”.

The 22-year-old centre-back baulked at suggestions Newcastle’s ambitious plans were all about money and admitted they could follow the path taken by Premier League rivals Manchester City and Ligue 1 giants PSG.

Speaking to Dutch outlet Ziggo Sport, Botman said: “I’m fine at Lille for the time being.

“I assume that I will take a good step in my career next summer.

“You never know in football.

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“This time both Newcastle and Milan were in very concrete talks. Both clubs have their positive points.

“Everyone says about Newcastle: it’s all about money. But it’s a very nice project, if you look at where Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain started.

“I think it would be very nice to be part of that, but of course Milan is a beautiful club”

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