The Magpies missed out on two top transfer targets despite the players desire to make the move

Newcastle director Amanda Staveley says Lille defender Sven Botman and Manchester Uniteds Jesse Lingard “desperately” wanted to join the club in January.

The pair were among the Magpies top transfer targets in the January window, but both ended up staying at their respective clubs.

Despite Newcastles failure to land them, Staveley said the players were eager to make the switch.

She told The Athletic: “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 squads would end up.

“We had to encourage 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 still does very much and has talked very openly about that.

“Coming through all that showed us we can do it, that we can stick to our plan and if we get criticised on the last day for: ‘Oh, you’re going after Jesse [Lingard]’, well, Jesse wanted to come to us.

“We did everything. We never stopped. From the start to the finish, we did not stop working.”

While Eddie Howes team missed out on two top targets, they did sign Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon, Chris Wood from Burnley, Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid and Brightons Dan Burn. They also brought in Matt Targett on loan from Aston Villa for the rest of the season.

Newcastle are currently 17th in the Premier League table and two points above the relegation zone. They are looking to boost their hopes of survival on Saturday when they take on Brentford away.

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