Newcastle united has signed Sven Botman from lille for 35million euro

Sven Botman earmarked as Eddie Howe's No 1 defensive transfer target this summer; Lille defender on verge of becoming Newcastle's third close-season signing following transfers of goalkeeper Nick Pope and left-back Matt Targett; Magpies have beaten off competition from AC Milan. Botman, who has undergone a medical on Tyneside, has agreed terms on a five year-contract, according to a statement from Newcastle. The total fee for the defender is in the region of £35m, with Newcastle saying the "formalities of the transfer" will be concluded this week. The Dutchman has been Eddie Howe's No 1 defensive transfer target this summer. The club did earmark the defender as a January transfer target but negotiations with Lille have proved complicated.

They have beaten off competition from AC Milan for his signature. Sven Botman may be new to Newcastle but the North East of England is not completely unfamiliar to him. In fact, it was in neighbouring Sunderland, three years ago next month, that he took the first step on his road to St James' Park.

The defender, still only 19 at the time, had just agreed a season-long loan from Ajax, his boyhood club, to Eredivisie rivals Heerenveen. His first assignment was a pre-season friendly, a few miles from the place he will soon call home, at the Stadium of Light. Botman was named on the bench but he didn't stay there long. A first-half injury to Ibrahim Dresevic, one of Heerenveen's starting centre-backs, meant he was needed sooner than anticipated.

It was an early opportunity to showcase his potential and he left the field at the end of it having helped Heerenveen secure a clean sheet and a 1-0 win. "He went in and he never went out," (Johnny Jansen).