Staveley: Both Botman and Lingard wanted to sign for Newcastle in January

Amanda Staveley has said Lille defender Sven Botman and Manchester United striker Jesse Lingard wanted to sign for Newcastle United in January.

Addressed exclusively to Athleticism alongside Mehrdad Ghodoussi, Staveley said Botman – who Newcastle came close to signing in January – “desperately wanted to come” to the Premier League club.

Botman, 21, was one of Newcastle’s top transfer targets last month. Eddie Howe’s side have made several offers to sign the Dutch international from Lille, but the French side have been adamant they won’t let the defender leave and have refused to hold talks.

The club were also interested in Lingard, only for the England international to stay at Old Trafford for the rest of the season.

Explaining the difficulties of the January window, Staveley said: “We were 19th going into the window. So we had that, an illiquid market and the complexity of COVID-19, which meant clubs didn’t want to sell because they didn’t know where their teams would end up.

“We had to encourage the players – ‘we’ll be a safe place for you, we’ll deliver and grow’. Some desperately wanted to come to us, like Sven (Botman), who is still doing a lot and has spoken about it very openly.

“Going through everything that showed us that we can do it, that we can stick to our plan and if we get criticized on the last day for ‘oh, you pick on Jesse (Lingard)’, well , Jesse wanted to come to us.

“We have done everything. We never stopped. From start to finish, we didn’t stop working.

Newcastle were nonetheless busy during last month’s window and eventually made five signings – Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn and Matt Targett.

Ghodoussi also revealed Newcastle’s January spending won’t stop them from spending more in the future, with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules the only obstacle.

When asked if there would be less transfer activity this summer, Ghodoussi replied: “Only in the direction of FFP. This summer is going to be important for us. Are we going to bring in five players, two players, one? We do not know.

“We will look at what the team needs, we will look at the market and act accordingly. We have no limits on what we can do until we have reached FFP. We want to create a club sustainable.

Newcastle take on Brentford at 3pm on Saturday afternoon and will have the opportunity to climb above Everton in 16th.

(Photo: Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)