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Transfer Market

Newcastle United confident Sven Botman now set to follow Matt Targett signing – Report

2 weeks ago
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Sven Botman is now the next signing Newcastle United hope to get get signed off.

Wednesday saw the club get the first summer buy through the door, Matt Targett announced as a permanent signing two days before the transfer window officially opens on Friday (10 June).

Straying from the usual modern day convention of keeping transfer fees ‘undisclosed’, Aston Villa revealing that Newcastle United had paid £15m in total for the left-back, with £2m of that total relating to the initial loan spell.

Great to see the club acting early on transfer targets after the shambles of Mike Ashley’s 29 transfer windows, where he repeatedly blocked Newcastle United moving for first choice targets early on.

Now a new exclusive reports that we could soon have a second summer signing through the door, possibly a third as well…

The Telegraph report that sources have informed them that ‘Newcastle are close to breaking through’ in landing Sven Botman. The long-term target saw Lille reject bids back in January, due to the Ligue 1 club wanting to keep him for the Champions League knockout stages.

However, even if Sven Botman wasn’t wanting to leave, Lille need to sell the 22 year old central defender due to underlying financial pressures, especially as with no European football in the upcoming season, along with most other Ligue 1 clubs they will be reliant on the relatively (compared to the Premier League in particular) low levels of financial reward from competing in French domestic football.

The Telegraph says that negotiations have been ongoing between Newcastle United and Lille, with the newspaper now having been told by sources close to the deal, that ‘Newcastle are close to making a breakthrough in their long pursuit of Botman after weeks of negotiations with French club Lille, as well as stiff and sustained competition from AC Milan.’

The report says that it isn’t impossible that AC Milan will launch a fresh bid to beat Newcastle to the signing but that as things stand, NUFC now appear set to tie up the transfer to St James Park.

Newcastle United are looking to make their budget stretch as far as possible and that has involved trying to structure deals in such a way that as little as possible cash will need to be paid up front, with the rest of the money in future instalments.

A transfer fee of around £30m is reported to have been loosely agreed and The Telegraph say that the ongoing negotiations no longer surround how much the transfer fee will be, but rather how it will be paid. A deal likely to see Newcastle paying £15m initially and the half of the fee in future instalments.

This approach obviously makes it less straightforward than simply paying all the money up front but it is how the vast majority of Premier League clubs operate. Indeed, Mike Ashley stood alone as he massively handicapped Newcastle United in the transfer market, always happy to sell players on an instalment basis but then paying the full money up front for signings coming in. This approach massively handicapping NUFC in being competitive in the transfer market.

Another complication, though probably not a major one as agents are entrusted to get on with sorting transfers out, is that Sven Botman is currently on international duty with the Holland Under 21s. He started on Friday in the 3-0 away win against Moldova, before sitting on the bench for a 6-0 home victory over Gibraltar. Saturday sees Sven Botman and his Dutch Under 21 colleagues playing away against Wales, so potentially handy for him to pop up to Newcastle after the match…

The Telegraph reports that the Hugo Ekitike deal is also at a similar stage, the player on international duty whilst his agents are working on completing a deal.

Talks continuing with the player’s representatives on personal terms and agents fees, along with how the transfer fee will be paid to Reims. The club’s President has confirmed that Newcastle’s bid has been accepted for the 19 year old striker but now agreement / compromise needed on how much of the fee to be paid up front and how much in future instalments.

Later today, Hugo Ekitike is set to play for the France Under 20s in the semi-final of the Maurice Revello (formerly Toulon) tournament against their Mexico counterparts, who will almost certainly have Newcastle loan striker Santiago Munoz up front, as he has started all three games so far.

With Dan Ashworth, Newcastle’s new Sporting Director, now in place, it is expected that his expertise and experience can now come into play to help get these two signings added to Matt Targett.

It is now only 22 days until the NUFC first team squad report back for pre-season preparations and indeed now only eight weeks until the 2022/23 Premier League season kicks off.

Obviously in Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike, Newcastle United are (hopefully!) set to invest a lot of the transfer fees in the potential of the two young players and no guarantees as to how quickly they could / would adapt to the Premier League, if at all. However, you could say that about any signings, there are no absolute guarantees and we have seen that regularly in the past, even with older players, bought from other English clubs and overseas.

The bottom line though is that if in the next week or so we saw both Hugo Ekitike and Sven Botman also through the door at St James Park, that would represent massive steps forward in showing the kind of ambition Newcastle fans have been dreaming of. Especially when you consider how last season’s excellent second half of the campaign form (third best in Premier League, 38 points from final 19 games at average of 2.00 points per match) was achieved almost entirely without Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier.

With Trippier and Wilson now fully fit and no doubt desperate for next season to start and get involved, having had to watch from the sidelines most of that astonishing run under Eddie Howe, to then add them to the likes of Joelinton, Dubravka, Schar, Fraser, ASM and of course Bruno, then adding (the permanent signing of) Targett AND hopefully Ekitike and Botman. Newcastle United very much having the look of a club that is going places.

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