Newcastle and AC Milan have both been frustrated by Lille's determination to keep hold of centre-back Sven Botman, 90min can confirm.
Botman has been Newcastle's primary defensive target for the January window and the Magpies have made a handful of approaches to try and convince the Ligue 1 champions to part ways with the talented Dutchman.
Sources have confirmed to 90min that Newcastle feel as though Botman is genuinely interested in joining the club, but it is Lille's reluctance to hold formal talks over a transfer which looks likely to see the move break down.
Newcastle want to get a deal done as soon as possible, with the recent FA Cup defeat to Cambridge United only amplifying concerns about the quality in the squad. They remain keen to try tempt Lille into selling, but there is an acceptance that doing so will be difficult at this point – and those concerns are shared by Milan.
The Rossoneri's director of football, Frederic Massara, confirmed as much, telling the media in Italy: “Botman is a very good player, but I don’t think Lille want to deprive themselves of him at the moment."
For Newcastle, there are already alternative targets in the pipeline. Monaco's Benoit Badiashile and Bournemouth's Lloyd Kelly are both rated highly by Eddie Howe and could be thrust towards the top of his wish list if a deal for Botman cannot be struck.
Negotiations also remain ongoing with Sevilla over a deal for Diego Carlos, but as is the case with Lille, the Spanish side are reluctant to sell – knowing Chelsea are still keen to land Jules Kounde – and are instead trying to convince Carlos to sign a new contract.
As well as signing a new centre-back, Newcastle are also keen to find at least one new forward and have expressed an interest in Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn, who is free to leave Spurs.