Simon Bird – The Mirror’s North-East correspondent on all things NUFC – has released a new piece on the transfer front ahead of what promises to be a hectic summer at St James’ Park.
He has revealed that Sven Botman will NOT be arriving on Tyneside, reporting that the Lille centre-back is instead closing in on a big money move to AC Milan.
Bird says that the Dutchman was a ‘top’ of our list after we tried and failed to sign him in January, however he’s not ‘agreed a five year deal worth £20m in wages’ with the current Serie A leaders, leaving us to pursue other options.
One of those is said to be Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, with the report claiming that he was one of SEVEN names discussed during a meeting between Amanda Staveley and Saudi investors over the past week.
The other players on our alleged wish-list include Kalvin Phillips (Leeds) and Yves Bissouma (Brighton) – our two ‘top midfield targets’ according to the report – while Benfica’s Darwin Nunez and Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton are named as two leading targets up top.
Last but not least, Bird believes that Howe wants a ‘young goalkeeper’ to compete with Martin Dubravka, stating that Man Utd’s Dean Henderson and Sam Johnstone – who will leave West Brom on a free this summer – have been watched closely.
Back to Botman, it seems Simon isn’t the only one who’s been told Botman is heading to Milan, with Fabrizio Romano also sharing this update on the Dutchman’s future today: