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Chris Knight

'Future Newcastle captain' reflects on 'chaotic' £35m transfer talk after failed January move

Sven Botman admits it was difficult to ignore the 'chaotic' transfer speculation in the months leading up to his eventual Newcastle United transfer. The Magpies landed their top defensive target at the second attempt after reaching a £35 million agreement with Lille in the summer.

Newcastle had seen their mid-season advances turned down by the former Ligue 1 champions, with Champions League knockout ties against Chelsea on the horizon. Eddie Howe instead bolstered his defence with the additions of Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Kieran Trippier, and guided the relegation favourites to a comfortable mid-table finish.

However, United maintained their interest and saw off competition from Serie A champions AC Milan to sign the now 23-year-old who has since been labelled a 'future Newcastle captain' by Warren Barton. Botman has quickly established himself as an integral member of one of the Premier League's best defences this term, and the Netherlands youth international admits the prospect of a St James' Park switch played on his mind for the final months of last season.

READ MORE: Eddie Howe reveals Kevin Keegan plan Newcastle will 'definitely arrange' even if 'difficult'

He told the club's website: "The last four or five months were, yeah – quite chaotic, in the sense that outside the pitch you have to make choices, you have to talk to people. At the end you just want to play football, but that's not how it goes.

"It's part of the whole thing, part of the job. I stayed calm but still, there's a lot going on in your mind. I'm happy it all got done."


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