Newcastle identify £40m rated defender as their ‘primary target’

Newcastle United have identified Lille’s £40m rated defender Sven Botman as one of their “primary targets” during the January window transfer window, according to reports.

The Magpies have struggled defensively so far this season. They have conceded 30 goals from their first 15 games in the Premier League.

The only team with a worse tally than this is Norwich City, as they have let in 31 goals already this term.

Newcastle finally win as Burnley provide no real fight

The Athletic are reporting that Newcastle are interested in signing Botman. The 21-year-old came through the ranks at Ajax and he signed for Lille last year.

The centre-back has already played 58 times for the French side and he is a Netherlands U21 international.

He helped Lille win the Ligue 1 title last season. They currently sit eleventh and they have conceded 24 times from their 17 games. The report adds that Botman is rated at around £40m.

Elsewhere, Newcastle picked up their first Premier League win of the season over the weekend.

The Magpies beat Burnley 1-0 thanks to Callum Wilson’s goal inside the first 45 minutes. Eddie Howe said after the win that they were “desperate” for the victory:

“Absolutely delighted for everyone connected with the club. It was a massive game for us and I thought the lads responded. After the first 20 mins we were great today.

“Very nervy towards the end as we were desperate for the win. The players managed that part really well. The spirit in the group has shown and the atmosphere was exceptional. I can’t praise the supporters enough.

“We have tried to bring our philosophy to the team. To be front foot and be more aggressive. We have technical players and athletes. Confidence is a key in any sport and we have lacked that. But today goes a long way to rebuilding that.

“It was a delicate one this week with three game in a week and keeping him [Callum Wilson] fit but he was excellent today. His finish for the goal was high class. He will be vital for us. We will need him before now and the end of the season.

He added: “I love working with this group. They are hungry and want to achieve. For sure we can stay up. We have come in form a difficult position and there is a long road ahead but I believe in what we are doing.”

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