Newcastle United’s pursuit of Hugo Ekitike appears to have hit a snag, as the Reims striker does not seem keen on joining Eddie Howe’s side amid interest from PSG.
Newcastle United’s swoop for Hugo Ekitike has hit a second snag after French outlet RMC Sports revealed that the Reims striker is stalling on making a decision over joining the Tyneside outfit and wants to keep all cards open, with various other clubs expressing their interest too, notably PSG.
Newcastle United have only managed one first-team addition thus far after the purchase option in Matt Targett’s loan deal was exercised last week. Two potential deals are now in limbo. While Sven Botman is holding off pressure to join Newcastle, reports in Italy have suggested that he is favouring a move to reigning AC Milan. And now Hugo Ekitike is delaying a switch to Newcastle as he wants to consider all options before making a decision.
Regarded as one of the best young strikers in France after blossoming under Reims boss Oscar Garcia, the France Under-20 international has enjoyed a more prominent role with Reims since returning from a loan stint in Denmark.
A goal involvement of ten goals and three assists in 24 Ligue 1 outings highlights the incredible productivity of Ekitike, who has directly contributed to 23 per cent of Reims’ goals this season-despite missing 14 games due to a hamstring injury.
Even more astonishingly, the 19-year-old striker possesses an excellent goal conversion rate of 32 per cent, the highest by an under-21 player across Europe’s big five leagues. Ekitike’s performances have attracted a host of elite suitors, including PSG and Borussia Dortmund, but only Newcastle have come up with a concrete offer.
Ekitike appeared to be open to the idea of moving to St. James’ Park after turning down Newcastle United in January. An agreement was reportedly in place between the Magpies and Reims for the 19-year-old, who has also agreed on personal terms.
Newcastle United were hopeful of wrapping up a deal for Ekitike this week, after months of speculation. However, Ekitike is testing Eddie Howe’s patience, with the Magpies already growing frustrated after the player’s agent delayed a trip to the northeast. A move to Newcastle might be unlikely now, with the player hoping for a possible approach from PSG.
PSG’s interest in the player has escalated following the appointment of Luis Campos as sporting director. But Les Parisiens are also in the process of replacing manager Mauricio Pochettino and are waiting to choose a new coach before moving further in the pursuit of Ekitike. Several German outfits are also interested but are likely to steer clear due to the finances involved.
While reports in France claim Ekitike’s move to Newcastle is on thin ice due to a possible late interest from PSG, Sky Sports’ contrasting breaking news has offered assurances that the deal is still in the Magpies’ hands. It remains to be seen whether Newcastle can get this one over the line or will have to turn to other alternatives.
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