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

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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 from elsewhere, with Milan and Newcastle both 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 under way 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."

Pressed specifically on Serie A champions Milan and resurgent Premier League outfit Newcastle, Botman said: "Those clubs are interested, yes. I can't and won't say much more about it.

"What I want is to take a nice step towards a nice competition. I am also looking forward to a new step.

"I am aware of what I want – that is not necessarily to that club or that competition. You weigh all kinds of things and then the total picture has to suit you. I must have a very good 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.

"I'm just patient," he added. "Ultimately, I hope that one day I can be a permanent fixture in the Oranje selection.

"I don't think I'm in a position right now to necessarily need an explanation. I just have to show that I belong there. I'm not in a hurry, but the Oranje is of course 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 and so I have to show extra that I do belong there. Do I feel ready? Yes, I think I can do that, although of course I still have a lot to learn.

"The Oranje has good defenders. If one or two are missing, you hope to be able to fill that. But hopefully that will come."

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