Newcastle’s £30m transfer proposal gaining steam with ‘reservations’ on alternative

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Newcastle are in ‘discussions’ over a transfer for Lille defender Sven Botman, according to reports. Eddie Howe is set to make several changes to their squad during the January transfer window and defenders are a top priority for the new boss. 

Howe replaced Steve Bruce in November, a month after the club’s eye-watering £305million takeover by a consortium majority-backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.  

The former Bournemouth head coach has struggled to arrest the Magpies’ poor form and will rely on a big-spending transfer window to help the club’s recovery.  

Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League and have won just one game all season. 

They have conceded a staggering 42 goals in just 19 league matches, prompting the club’s new hierarchy to target a fresh set of defenders. 

Netherlands U21 star Botman is reportedly top of Newcastle’s list of targets. 

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According to the Daily Mail, the Tyneside outfit are already in discussions over a £30m transfer for the 21-year-old. 

Botman was previously understood to only want to leave Lille for Champions League football. However, Newcastle are said to be confident that they can tempt the left-footed centre-back to St James’ Park.  

That is despite the very real prospect that they could be playing Championship football next term.  

Another potential target for Newcastle is James Tarkowski but there are apparently reservations held over a possible deal. 

Some at the Magpies feel that Burnley might demand too much for the 29-year-old.  

It will leave Newcastle instead targeting Botman, who helped Lille stun world football by winning Ligue 1 last season.  

The French side have endured a tough title defence, though, as they sit eighth in the top-flight. They are through to the knockout rounds of the Champions League but face a challenging tie against Chelsea.  

Botman has been in high demand having earned a reputation as one of the most highly-rated defenders in Europe.  

He was last season linked with a transfer to Liverpool but that did not materialise. 

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The Reds’ defensive injury crisis prompted them to seek a couple of new centre-backs to cover for the stricken Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.  

Their pursuit of Botman failed and they ultimately signed Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke and Ben Davies from Preston.  

The duo failed to make an impact at Anfield. Kabak was not signed permanently following the end of his loan spell and he has since joined Newcastle’s relegation rivals Norwich.  

Davies, meanwhile, joined Sheffield United on loan in the summer while Liverpool ended up signing Ibrahima Konate on a permanent deal to bolster their defence.

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