Only five Premier League teams conceded more goals than Newcastle United last season (62) while only four clubs had fewer clean sheets (8), so Eddie Howe will want to bolster his backline this summer.

The Magpies boss will go into next season with Fabian Schar, Dan Burn and Jamaal Lascelles, but he’ll need to replace Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez as the pair are surplus to requirements.

One centre-back on Newcastle’s radar is Sven Botman and Fabrizio Romano says the Toon Army are closing in on a transfer. The 22-year-old is expected to travel to the North-East this week to undergo a medical and put pen to paper on a deal.

Newcastle are paying €37m (£32m) for Botman, but Romano didn’t disclose how long the contract would be for. Given his age, the Magpies are likely to be tying him down for the long-term. Howe’s defence would finally be complete with Botman, as the uncapped Dutchman would be the fourth centre-back in the first-team.  

Schar formed a solid partnership alongside Burn this season, so time will tell if Botman can force his way into the side.

In other news, Newcastle unlikely to sign Dwight McNeil this summer