Newcastle United have re-opened talks with Lille over Dutch defender Sven Botman as his proposed move to Serie A champions AC Milan continues to stall, 90min understands.
Botman was a January target for Newcastle, but he ruled out a move as he wanted to stay with Lille during their Champions League campaign.
After the January transfer window had passed, AC Milan were quick to move for Botman and agreed terms with both player and club - with technical director Paolo Maldini leading the talks.
However, in recent weeks Botman and Lille have been pushing Milan to conclude a deal, but talks have stalled.
Milan, who won a first Serie A title since 2011 last Sunday, are in talks over new ownership and that has played a part in a deal not being finalised, although they have also resurrected contract talks with captain Alessio Romagnoli - who had looked likely to depart on a free transfer.
Indeed, Maldini has admitted to Gazzetta dello Sport that while a deal for Liverpool's Divock Origi is close to being completed, that is not the case when it comes to 22-year-old Botman.
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"We are talking to Origi and it is very well advanced. Botman? We have followed him, but there are many good players in that role," he confirmed.
Botman's representatives have been growing increasingly agitated by Milan's stance in recent days and have returned to Newcastle to let them know that the deal to take him to San Siro is far from finalised.
90min understands that Newcastle have now spoken to Lille - who are happy to sell to the North East giants - and the club are now readying an offer for Botman, and there now appears to be real hope that Eddie Howe's Magpies could end-up landing a player who was always their top defensive target.