Newcastle United are at the front of the queue for Sven Botman ahead of a potential summer move from Lille, according to reports.
Botman was the Magpies number one defensive target in the winter transfer window but were unable to bring in the Netherlands under-21 international.
They turned their attention to Sevilla’s Diego Carlos, but talks also broke down over signing the Brazilian despite his eagerness to move to St James’ Park.
It was a busy transfer window for the Geordies, nonetheless. They signed five players in total, spending £85m, eventually getting a central defender through the door in Brighton’s Dan Burn.
But it now seems that Newcastle will attempt to sign Botman again ahead of the summer transfer window with Football Insider claiming the Geordies are still likely to beat AC Milan to his signing.
The website insists that the Magpies are ‘in pole position to sign’ Botman this summer ‘for around £30million this summer even though he has agreed personal terms with AC Milan’.
Botman is ‘still keen on signing for them and is eager to play in the Premier League’ and the Dutchman ‘remains a priority for Eddie Howe and the recruitment team as they look to recruit a top-class centre-back’.
The report insists that offering ‘a satisfactory contract will not be a problem for Newcastle’ with the wealth at their disposal this summer and they are ‘confident that Botman will accept their contract offer after verbally agreeing personal terms earlier this year’.
Newcastle believe they ‘can still win the race’ with Milan for the 22-year-old despite the Serie A side jumping the queue to agree personal terms.
Meanwhile, Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier is vowing to return to action “as soon as possible” after stepping up his recovery from a broken metatarsal.
The right-back needed surgery on the injury he sustained in February, which came in just his fifth appearance since a £12million move from Atletico Madrid.
“My recovery is going really well,” he told NUTV.
“I am moving a lot better now, my ankle is not as tight anymore, so it has been really good progress since we have been here and I am looking forward to stepping up my recovery.
“I am in a good place, I have been since I got injured. I am happy to be here and doing my rehab with the team and looking forward to coming back quickly.
“I feel like that, I know my body, I know how my body is reacting and up to now everything I have been doing in the rehab room I have had no reaction so that is positive news.
“I would like to be on the pitch as soon as possible but it was a break, so we have to take that into account. When I am feeling right and 100 per cent ready to play the manager will be the first to know.
“I have got to take my time a bit because it was a serious injury and I have to be mindful of that but at the minute I am feeling positive.”