NEWCASTLE United target Sven Botman has revealed progress is being made every day to push through a move away from Lille this summer with the Magpies still locked in a head-to-head battle with AC Milan to win the race to his signature.

Botman, 22, has been the subject of serious interest from Newcastle for the last few months. Lille knocked back two bids for the Dutch defender in January from Newcastle and thwarted off any attempts from AC Milan to take him to Italy.

The acquisition of a central defender is a priority for Newcastle this summer who have also been linked with a move for Manchester City defender Nathan Ake. However, reports suggest they have been quoted an eye-watering price of £50 million.

The arrival of sporting director Dan Ashworth hopes to bring progress with Newcastle United's transfer targets as the summer window opens in just a few weeks time.

Botman is currently out on international duty with the Netherlands Under-21’s side and was asked about his future by ESPN NL. He said: "That's what you're working on. Of course it's difficult to separate things. It's just an important moment for me, so I hear about this almost every day. Things are progressing and I hope that before the start of the preparation more clarity."

When asked directly about AC Milan’s interest, Botman gave a telling smile to the cameras.

Newcastle will be able to match any financial offer Milan place on the table, but their Italian rivals can also provide Champions League football next season, which will appeal to Botman given his publicly-stated desire to claim a place in the Netherlands team.

However, he intends to make a decision on his future in the next few weeks, to ensure he can hit the ground running with his new employers at the start of pre-season.

Speaking to other Dutch media recently, he said: “There are now talks. I won’t go into all that, but it’s going well. I do hope that the transfer for the new season is completed. Preferably, also, for the preparation (pre-season).”

French side Lille signed Botman from Dutch side Herenveen in the summer of 2020 for a reported fee of around £7.2 million. He has gone on to feature 76 times in the last two seasons.