NEWCASTLE UNITED have been told they will have to break their transfer record if they are to sign centre-half target Sven Botman from Lille this month.

Having had an initial offer for Botman rejected when the transfer window opened at the turn of the year, the Magpies returned to the negotiating table with an improved bid of around £35m last week.

That was also turned down, although while Lille officials had previously insisted they had absolutely no interest in selling Botman, they have subsequently shifted their stance to a position where they will consider offers of £45m for the Netherlands Under-21 international.

Newcastle’s transfer record currently stands at the £40m they shelled out to sign Joelinton from Hoffenheim in the summer of 2019, and sources in France claim they have been told they will have to go above that figure if they are to sign Botman this month.

It is understood the Magpies’ total budget for this month’s transfer window stands at around £100m, with an initial fee of £12m having been paid to sign Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid last week. Trippier made his Newcastle debut on Saturday as Eddie Howe’s side suffered an embarrassing FA Cup third-round defeat at the hands of Cambridge United.

Howe has always been keen to sign a centre-half and a midfielder this month, but with Callum Wilson set to be sidelined for two months with the calf injury sustained in last month’s draw with Manchester United, he now finds himself in a position where he also needs to recruit a new centre-forward before the end of the month.

Newcastle’s recruitment team are understood to have made contact with the hierarchy at Burnley to discuss a possible move for Chris Wood.

The New Zealander, who has scored three goals in 18 Premier League appearances this season, has entered the final 18 months of his current contract at Turf Moor, but Clarets boss Sean Dyche is adamant he does not want to sell any of his players to Newcastle this month. Burnley are currently level on points with the Magpies in the table, having played two fewer matches.

Dyche adopted a similar stance when Newcastle pursued centre-half duo Ben Mee and James Tarkowski prior to the transfer window opening. Mee is currently involved in negotiations over a new contract at Burnley, while Tarkowski is expected to see out the season at Turf Moor and move as a free agent in the summer.

Newcastle’s hierarchy, led by director Amanda Staveley, have made contact with Norwich City over midfielder Todd Cantwell, who was left out of the Canaries’ squad for yesterday’s FA Cup win at Charlton Athletic. Cantwell, who is in the final six months of his current deal, is available for around £15m.

He is being targeted as a potential replacement for Sean Longstaff, who is the subject of ongoing interest from Everton.