NEWCASTLE UNITED should finally complete the signing of Sven Botman in the next 24 hours after the Dutchman flew into Tyneside to finalise his switch from Lille yesterday.

The Magpies have spent the whole of the summer chasing the Dutch centre-half, with Eddie Howe’s persistence finally paying off at the end of last week when Botman agreed to move to the Premier League despite competing interest from AC Milan.

The 22-year-old flew to England yesterday morning, and arrived at Newcastle’s Little Benton training ground at lunchtime ahead of undergoing a medical.

That is understood to have gone without a hitch, so with the personal terms of his €35m move from Lille already having been agreed, Botman should be confirmed as the Magpies’ third summer signing later today.

He will form part of Newcastle’s new-look defence with his fellow summer arrivals Nick Pope and Matt Targett, and his signing represents a considerable coup given the reputation he has established in his two seasons in Ligue 1.

Botman helped Lille win the French title two seasons ago, and was a key part of the side that qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League last term.

He came close to joining Newcastle in January, only for Lille to turn down a succession of offers, but the Magpies’ recruitment team finally thrashed out a deal that was accepted earlier this month.

A Netherlands Under-21 international, who has featured in the senior Dutch international squad without yet winning a full cap, Botman is likely to play alongside Dan Burn at the heart of the Newcastle defence next season.

His arrival means one long-running transfer saga has come to a positive conclusion, but a second looks like ending in frustration with the Magpies having finally called time on their pursuit of Hugo Ekitike.

While Newcastle have agreed a deal with Reims for the 20-year-old striker, they have been unable to strike an agreement with his representatives.

Ekitike’s agents have made a series of demands that are regarded as unreasonable, with Newcastle’s recruitment team aware of competing interest from Paris St Germain that has hardened significantly in recent days. As a result, they are now looking elsewhere as they attempt to recruit a new forward.

They are also on the look-out for a new winger, and have made renewed contact with Bayer Leverkusen over Moussa Diaby. However, the German club are still publicly stating that they do not want to sell the France international, who they value at around €50m.

Bayer Leverkusen are gearing up for the group stages of the Champions League, with Diaby’s 17 goals and 14 assists in the Bundesliga last season having been a key part of their success, and their sporting director, Simon Rolfes, is adamant they are not under any financial pressure to sell their leading asset.

“We want to keep Moussa for as long as possible,” said Rolfes. “I know a lot of scouts have been sitting on our tribune during our matches because we have a lot of interesting, exciting young players with high potential.

“It is always the same, we do not have any offers for him, but we are not looking for that at the moment. We would like to keep him, and for him to play with us next season in the Champions League.”

Leverkusen’s stance has forced Newcastle to assess alternatives, and they have made contact with the hierarchy at Leeds to flag up their potential interest in Raphinha.

The Brazilian looks increasingly likely to leave Elland Road this summer, and while Newcastle would not be willing to go anywhere near Leeds’ current £60m valuation of the winger, they intend to remain part of the discussion if his other suitors are also reluctant to meet that price.

Arsenal and Chelsea have both been heavily linked with Raphinha, and are known to have held discussions, but neither London club has been able to agree a deal because, like Newcastle, they regard Leeds’ current demands as far too high.

With Kalvin Phillips on his way out of Elland Road to join Manchester City, Leeds are determined to extract the maximum price for Raphinha if he also leaves as they accept they will have to make some major reinvestments into their squad.

Newcastle would potentially be willing to agree to a deal worth around £40m, although some of that fee would be dependent on add-ons, and are waiting to see how things develop in the next few days before deciding whether or not to step up their interest.