Newcastle United have reportedly suffered a blow as Lille have rejected a €35 million bid for their 21-year-old defensive powerhouse Sven Botman.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle United have supposedly been handed a major setback in pursuit of Sven Botman as Lille have turned down a €35 million offer for the permanent transfer of the Dutchman. Despite their dire financial position, the Ligue 1 champions are keen to hold on to their prized asset while blocking any potential loan approaches.

The January transfer window is open now, and all eyes are fixed on Newcastle and how they will spend their newfound riches under the current regime. Although they have the financial might to make a few statement signings, the question remains whether they will be able to attract those kinds of players whilst they are in the middle of a relegation dogfight.

With Atletico Madrid and England right-back Kieran Trippier all set to join the Tyneside outfit, it is clear that the Toon hierarchy means business in this transfer window and are wasting no time in trying to splurge the cash to back manager Eddie Howe to strengthen the squad in order to have a better chance of Premier League survival.

Having shipped a league-high 42 goals, with individual errors seriously costing them, Newcastle’s defensive woes are well-documented. They desperately need improvement at the back and have long admired highly-rated Lille centre-back Sven Botman. They have made the Dutchman their priority defensive target heading into January and have tabled a €35 million offer to secure the services of the Dutch under-21 international.

Unfortunately for the Magpies, the reigning Ligue 1 champions turned down their opening bid. Lille have already qualified for the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League and are seeking a better run of results in the second half of the league campaign to finish in European spots.

Moreover, having sold stars such as Boubakary Soumare and Mike Maignan last summer, and already parting ways with Jonathan Ikone in the current window, the French outfit are adamant about keeping hold of their key defender Botman to achieve their objectives this season.

Botman is widely regarded as one of the standout defenders in the French top-flight, having progressed leaps and bounds since joining LOSC Lille from Ajax in the summer of 2020. A regular feature at the heart of Les Dogues’ backline, he was crucial to Lille’s Ligue 1 success last season.

Standing at 6ft 5in, he has the size and strength to cut an aerially dominant figure inside the box, while his decent recovery pace and positional awareness gives him exceptional superiority in 1v1 situations. Most importantly, he is a ball-playing central defender, one that Newcastle severely lack in their current roster. At just 21 years old, he would also have plenty of years ahead of him at the top level.

Indeed, a swoop for Botman would have been a major coup for the Magpies and could have laid down a real marker in terms of opening the floodgates for further high-profile signings. A lot of elite clubs are interested in Botman, but it seems that Newcastle are the only one to have upped their interest. Although Lille rejected their first offer, they could return with an even more tempting proposal later in the window.

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