Dutch centre-back Sven Botman has explained his decision to sign for Newcastle United over European giants Milan.

The Magpies confirmed they have reached a deal in principle to sign the 22-year-old from Lille on Monday, with the announcement coming alongside an image of the defender holding up a Newcastle shirt at St. James’ Park.

A £40m bid was accepted by Lille, and Botman agreeing personal terms on a five-year contract before successfully passing a medical. There are now mere formalities to be completed before the Netherlands international becomes a Newcastle player.

Although the centre-back has been a target for the Tynesiders since their Saudi-backed takeover last year, things could have been very different as Serie A champions Milan had been close to signing him before talks broke down.

Asked about his decision to eventually choose Newcastle by De Telegraaf, Botman said: “In the end, the beautiful project of Newcastle United in combination with playing in the Premier League was decisive.

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