The Dutch defender has been tracked extensively by Newcastle for the last few months and the Toon were even thought to have had a bid accepted just a few weeks ago of around £30m, although Lille are said to now want closer to £36m for the 22-year-old.
Milan were said to be very much interested in Botman, however, reports in Italy have recently claimed the Serie A champions are ready to pull out of the deal as they refuse to match Newcastle’s financial package.
With just Newcastle now in advanced talks with Lille and Botman, Cronin believes that the defender could soon make his feelings known to the French club as the saga rumbles on.
He said: “There might just be a period now where the Botman deal goes quiet and it’ll hopefully pick back up in the next few weeks when players start returning.
Will Newcastle sign Ekitike?
“Botman doesn’t want to be at Lille next season, so I think he’s had assurances that he can leave, so if he’s still a Lille player by the time they get back to pre-season, he could end up kicking up a fuss and demanding that he leaves.
“That’s when a transfer can ramp up again, because the player’s trying to force an exit and Lille should really let him go.”
TIF Thoughts on Newcastle’s pursuit of Botman…
It would be a major disappointment for Newcastle and their fans if they don’t end up winning the race to sign Botman given how long they’ve tracked him and that he’s clearly their number-one target, but PIF quite clearly won’t be paying over the odds for anyone in the transfer window – or they would have surely wrapped up negotiations some time ago.
Botman apparently wanted his future sorted out before going away on his holiday, however, that has not been the case, which will likely see this saga run long into pre-season, meaning that if he does end up signing, Eddie Howe won’t have as long to work with him and get the defender up to speed with his tactics and the Premier League.
All in all, Newcastle will have to hope they can gain some control over the situation in the coming days and weeks to prevent this story from running all summer and allow the Dutchman to hit the ground running on Tyneside.