Newcastle relying on ‘unexpected twist’ as Eddie Howe’s transfer plan derails

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Newcastle are reportedly relying on an ‘unexpected twist’ after their move for Lille defender Sven Botman look as good as over. Botman, 21, has been linked with a move to St. James Park in the current window, but any deals looks as if it’s now off the cards. 

The central defender joined Lille from Dutch giants Ajax in the summer of 2020 and helped the club to the Ligue 1 title during his first season at the club.

According to The Athletic, Lille are refusing to let Botman leave the club this month and plan to keep hold of him for the rest of the season.

The same outlet says Newcastle made at least two offers for the Dutchman, both of which have been unsuccessful.

Lille have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League and keeping hold of Botman will be crucial if they are to overcome Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in the last-16 of Europe’s premier club competition.

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The same report claims Botman was Newcastle’s primary centre-back target in this window, but the Magpies will now be forced to look for other alternatives, with Sevilla’s Diego Carlos, and Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile, reported transfer targets.

Newcastle currently have the joint-worst defence in the Premier League alongside Norwich after having leaked 42 goals already.

If current form continues then they are on track to concede 84 times across the campaign, which would be just five short of Derby County’s 89, registered during their abysmal Premier League campaign in 2007-08.

Newcastle’s new money rich era got its first signing over the line last week when the club announced the £12million arrival of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

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However, the Magpies are said to be wanting to bring in a centre-back and a striker before Saturday’s clash with Watford.

Eddie Howe’s side suffered a shock embarrassing 1-0 home defeat to Cambridge United of League One in the FA Cup third round last Saturday in a game which saw Trippier make his debut for the club.

“We’re devastated for them [the fans].

“A great atmosphere, incredible feeling all the way during the game, even when we went behind, really willing the team to find an equaliser.

“It didn’t totally surprise me – since I’ve been here, that’s what the supporters have been like.

“Devastated for them, feel their pain and it motivates me to try to repay their faith and their support by winning games very soon.”

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Newcastle are currently lurking dangerously in 19th in the Premier League with just 11 points, after picking up just one win in the first half of the season.

The Magpies are two adrift of Watford in 17th, having played a match more than Claudio Ranieri’s side.

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