NEWCASTLE United’s long running battle to sign Lille centre back Sven Botman will reach it’s conclusion this week with the Dutchman due to travel to Tyneside for a medical today.

The Magpies made a breakthrough before the weekend having spent the last week formalising the framework of a deal to bring the 22-year-old to St James Park. The total fee is expected to be in the region of around £39 million.

Italian champions AC Milan have been going toe-to-toe with Newcastle United in a race for Botman having declared their interest earlier in the summer but the San Siro side never agreed a fee with Lille to bring him to Northern Italy.

Botman hinted to Dutch media that he was aware of Milan’s interest and it’s understood there was frustration on Newcastle’s end with the time it was taking for a deal to be struck with fears that a bidding war was being encouraged. However, following lengthy negotiations, the Dutch defender has agreed to a move to Tyneside and looks set to become their third signing of the summer. Left-back Matt Targett and goalkeeper Nick Pope have completed permanent switches to the club in recent weeks.

Newcastle attempted to bring Botman to the club in January earlier this year where personal terms were effectively agreed with the player. However, they were knocked back in their advances by Lille.

There has been an intention to revisit the deal in the summer with newly appointed Sporting Director Dan Ashworth immediately working on deals to bring new recruits to the club. He was in attendance to watch Botman in action for The Netherlands Under-23’s side earlier this month.

Botman broke through the academy at Ajax where he had a loan spell with Dutch side Herenveen in 2019. From there, his potential was seized upon by Lille in the summer of 2020 who signed him for a fee in the region of around £7.2 million. Despite his tender age, Botman has plenty of experience playing Champions League football with Lille making 102 career appearances in total.

The fee for Botman will be close to breaking the club’s transfer record having paid around £39 million for Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes in January and around £40 million for Joelinton in the summer of 2019.