By Paddy Kenny

13th Dec, 2021 | 8:02am

Pundit claims Newcastle problem 'caused by Ashley' could kill '£40m' Botman deal

Newcastle will be unable to sign Sven Botman in January because of a problem caused by Mike Ashley.

That’s according to former Leeds United stopper Paddy Kenny, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Magpies’ options in January.

Last Monday (6 December) The Athletic‘s David Ornstein reported Newcastle are interested in a £40million move for Botman, 21.

The centre-back played a key role in Lille’s Ligue 1 title success last season.

Eddie Howe’s side have struggled defensively this season with no side conceding more than the 34 goals they have shipped.

This has left Newcastle as one of the favourites for relegation, something Kenny claims rules out a move for Botman.

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“They have the money to do it, no question,” Kenny told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“It’s about whether he will come. I don’t know much about the guy but if he’s worth that much at that age he’s clearly talented.

“Newcastle could be bottom of the league by January. Why would any decent player go and join them?

“I’ve got nothing against Newcastle, I just think you have to look at it like that.

“Clubs who are in better positions will be interested, I imagine.

“Even if Newcastle are the only club to bid. You would just stay where you are, wouldn’t you?

“I think that’s the problem Newcastle face. A problem caused by Ashley and the previous regime.

“That squad is nowhere near good enough.”

The Magpies have not signed a centre-back since 2018.

They were smashed 4-0 by Leicester on Sunday (12 December) as relegation fears continue to grow.

In other news, pundit can’t believe what’s happening at Newcastle United as “strange” new arrival reported.