NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United have confirmed they’ve agreed a deal in principle to sign Lille’s and the Netherlands’ youth international defender Sven Botman.
Botman is now on the verge of becoming the Magpies’ third first-team signing of the summer so far, following on from the permanent capture of Matt Targett from Aston Villa and England international goalkeeper Nick Pope from recently relegated Burnley.
While the deal is yet to be 100 percent confirmed, United released a statement outlining their agreement with the Ligue 1 outfit for the 22-year-old, who has been a long-time target of the Magpies.
The fee for the player is understood to be in the region of $36 million plus performance-related add-ons, taking United’s summer spending to around $62 million.
Confirming the news, a United statement read: “Newcastle United have agreed a deal in principle with LOSC Lille to sign Dutch defender Sven Botman for an undisclosed fee, holding off competition from a host of European sides to secure the highly rated center-back.
“Botman has completed his medical on Tyneside and agreed the terms of a five-year contract.
“The formalities of the transfer are set to be concluded this week, following which the 22-year-old will officially become a Newcastle United player.”
The deal, once concluded, will end a near nine-month-long chase for the player, who was earmarked as the Magpies’ number-one transfer target post-takeover.
The Magpies saw two offers rejected for the player in the January transfer window, but were not deterred in their pursuit, with the player and his representatives making it clear they would be keen to sign for the club.
And while AC Milan appeared confident they would beat Newcastle to the former Ajax academy graduate’s signature, United’s bid won out to deliver the central defender that head coach Eddie Howe wanted to spearhead his defensive rebuild on Tyneside.
Arab News understands the reason the deal has not been completely rubber-stamped is due to paperwork delays from the French side, with all formalities from a United perspective signed and sealed. Despite this, there are no fears that it will not be green-lighted this week.
Taking to social media, Botman expressed his delight at putting pen to paper on his new five-year deal.
Via his Instagram, Botman posted: “Official. Happy to be part of the Magpies family!”
His post was accompanied by three photos, one of him holding up the new noon.com-flanked home shirt, and two others with his family and representatives pitchside at St James’ Park.
As is very much their style, two of the Newcastle United ownership group also took to Twitter to welcome the new arrival.
PCP Capital Partners’ Mehrdad Ghodoussi tweeted: “Welcome to the family Sven.”
While Jamie Reuben, of RB Sports & Media, said: “Welcome to the best club in the world.”