LILLE have told Newcastle United transfer target Sven Botman he will not be joining AC Milan unless the Italian club significantly increase the offer they tabled earlier this month.

Botman’s future remains uncertain, with the Dutch centre-half having expressed a preference for a move to Milan ahead of a switch to Tyneside.

Having claimed the Serie A title last season, Milan can offer Champions League football next term, and while Botman had agreed to move to St James’ Park in January, only for Lille to block the transfer, the Dutch defender now has his set sights on a switch to the San Siro.

However, while Milan have tabled an offer, it is significantly lower than the deal Newcastle have agreed with Lille officials. As a result, the French club’s owners have told Botman he will not be joining Milan unless things change.

Newcastle’s recruitment team have held detailed discussions with the Lille hierarchy, and have agreed the framework of a deal that will see them pay an initial sum of around €30m.

There is also an agreement in place for a series of add-ons that could see the Magpies pay around €10m in supplementary fees during the course of Botman’s proposed contract, potentially taking the total sum for the 22-year-old to closer to €40m.

Milan are understood to have proposed a deal that would see them pay between €20-25m up front, with the total package worth no more than €30m no matter what Botman goes on to achieve at the San Siro.

Understandably, Lille are unwilling to accept Milan’s offer when they have a much more lucrative bid from Newcastle on the table.

The Magpies’ problem is that they would ideally like things wrapped up in the next fortnight, enabling Botman to link up with the rest of Eddie Howe’s squad when they reconvene for the start of pre-season training.

They understand Botman’s interest in Milan, but while they cannot offer European football next season, they have been trying to convince the centre-half they have realistic ambitions to be challenging for domestic honours and returning to continental competition over the course of his proposed deal.

However, with the clock ticking, and with Matt Targett still the only player to have joined since the end of last season, Howe and the rest of Newcastle’s recruitment operation accept they are reaching a stage where they will have to demand a firm decision.

Lille are equally keen to get the situation resolved because they want to make signings of their own in the next few weeks, and are ramping up the pressure on Botman and his representatives.

Having just finished playing for the Netherlands Under-21s in a series of European qualifiers, the defender is currently on a break, but is understood to be in regular contact with Lille officials, who remain in dialogue with both Newcastle and Milan.

The Magpies have been assessing alternative central-defensive targets, with Manchester City’s Nathan Ake prominent in their thoughts. However, while City might be willing to sell the 27-year-old this summer, it has been suggested they would demand around £50m.

Newcastle have also been linked with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, but again, price would be a major issue if they opted to make a move. Kounde has a €90m release clause in his contract, and while the Spanish media suggest Sevilla would be willing to accept a lower sum, the Magpies would almost certainly still be quoted a price of around €60m for the France international.