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French Ligue 1Botman 'looking forward to new step' as Milan and Newcastle lurk

Botman ‘looking forward to new step’ as Milan and Newcastle lurk

Sven Botman acknowledged interest from Milan and Newcastle United as he confirmed his desire to leave Lille before the 2022-23 season.

Botman has established himself as one of the standout defenders in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons, winning the title with Lille in 2020-21.

His form has unsurprisingly prompted interest elsewhere, with Milan and Newcastle linked with moves since the January window.

A transfer to one of these clubs now appears highly likely, with Botman asked if he had played his last game for Lille.

“I don’t know, but I think so,” the centre-back told AD. “I intend to take a step.

“Talks are underway now. I won’t go into all of that, but it’s going well. I do hope that the transfer for the new season is completed. Preferably also for the pre-season, yes.”

Explicitly pressed on Serie A champions Milan and resurgent Premier League outfit Newcastle, Botman said: “Those clubs are interested, yes. But, unfortunately, I can’t and won’t know much more about it.

“I want to take an excellent step towards a friendly competition. I am also looking forward to a new step.

“And I am aware of what I want – that is not necessary to that club or competition. You weigh all kinds of things, and then the total picture has to suit you. I must have an excellent feeling about it.”

As well as that move, Botman has ambitions for international recognition, still waiting on a Netherlands call-up with Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt among his Oranje rivals.

He added:

“I’m just patient.

“Ultimately, I hope that I can be a permanent fixture in the Oranje selection one day.

“I don’t think I’m in a position right now to need an explanation. I have to show that I belong there. I’m not in a hurry, but the Oranje is a goal.

“It’s not up to me. That should be determined by others and especially the national coach. I haven’t spoken to him one-on-one yet.

“I have not been selected now, so I have to show extra that I belong there. Do I feel ready? Yes, I think I can do that, although I still have a lot to learn.

“The Oranje has good defenders. So if one or two are missing, you hope to be able to fill that. But hopefully, that will come.”

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