Newcastle United are closing in on the signing of Sven Botman from Lille, despite interest from AC Milan and a late approach from Manchester United.
That is according to English outlet The Telegraph, who claim that Botman could be Eddie Howe's second signing of the summer after the Magpies failed to complete a deal in January despite sustained interest.
In the time since, it had seemed as though Italy and AC Milan would be his destination, but this is looking less likely as the weeks drag on, and the report suggests that it is just a matter of time before Botman is in black and white stripes this summer.
'The fight between Newcastle and the newly crowned champions of Italy has not yet been won - and officials in Milan could yet move again to scupper the plan - but there is a growing sense of confidence within St James’ Park that the centre-back will decide to switch from France to Tyneside', The Telegraph claim.
Botman would become the second summer addition to the Magpies' ranks following the permanent signing of Matt Targett, who spent the second half of last season on loan with the Tyneside outfit.
They are also expected to add a striker and central midfielder, whilst having been linked with a goalkeeper in the shape of Dean Henderson, too.
Manchester United: Too little, too late?
Reports of interest from Manchester United in Botman came to the fore earlier this week, with the Red Devils seemingly stumped on potential defensive reinforcements as the rumour mill continues to whirl at Old Trafford.
Jurrien Timber seems set to remain at Ajax, and while the likes of Pau Torres and Goncalo Inacio have been linked, there is little development in either deal as of now. Suggestions of interest in Botman may not be far wide of the mark, then, with the defender having attracted admiring glances from top clubs previously and having come through the ranks at Ajax before his Lille switch.
However, given the fact that the two other sides in the race have been working on a deal for months, United may have left any approach too late.