Newcastle transfer news: Maldini was desperate for Botman to join Milan
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Newcastle transfer news: Maldini was desperate for Botman to join Milan

Newcastle United have beaten AC Milan and Paolo Maldini to the signing of Sven Botman.

The defender’s move to the North East was confirmed in principle last night, with Botman agreeing a five year deal at St James’ Park.

It’s a huge signing for the Magpies, who have made a real statement with their latest addition.

The £35million fee is one of the biggest since the change of ownership, and stands alongside the Bruno Guimaraes deal as a real game-changing addition for Newcastle.

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To fend off interest from AC Milan is very impressive, and sums up the financial muscle we suddenly have.

Newcastle are signing a fantastic player, and someone who was wanted by arguably the greatest defender of all time.

Maldini wanted AC Milan to sign Botman

Before the deal was announced, the Athletic’s Chris Waugh spoke about Botman’s imminent arrival on the latest episode of Pod On The Tyne.

The reporter discussed the interest from AC Milan and how it was being led by Italian legend Maldini, who is their technical director.

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“Our understanding is that Maldini was the one pushing for Botman,” he said.

“He wanted Sven Botman to go to AC Milan, but they are going through a complicated takeover at the moment and there is a feeling that spending more than £30million on a centre-back is not their priority. They need to look at other areas and really they would be better off spending elsewhere.

“Once Newcastle reached a certain level, they realised they couldn’t compete anymore. Even though Maldini was pushing it, they’ve opted to go for alternative targets.”

Maldini’s stance proves what a signing Newcastle have made

The fact we’ve beaten AC Milan is impressive. But to do it when Maldini wanted him so badly is incredible.

This is a Milan legend. A titan of defending who was so good that they retired the number three shirt in his honour.

Maldini will go down as one of the best defenders ever – and he was championing his side to complete a deal for Botman.

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If anyone knows what it takes to be a decent centre-back then it’s him. When someone like Maldini talks about defending, you stand up and take note.

But AC Milan didn’t listen to their technical director, and instead are looking elsewhere. Perhaps they don’t think Botman is worth what Newcastle are paying, or they simply couldn’t match the Magpies financially.

Regardless, their loss is our gain. Eddie Howe has got the centre-back he’s craved, ending a six-month long pursuit of the Dutchman.

If Botman goes on to be half as good as Maldini then he will have been well worth the £35million investment.