Newcastle had positive talks with Reims forward Hugo Ekitike after the French club granted the 19-year-old permission to speak to the Magpies.
Sky Sports News It was said that the player’s representatives were allowed to speak with the Premier League club as the clubs continue to finalize a deal.
A payout worth around € 30m (£ 25.6m) is under discussion for the striker who scored ten goals in 24 Ligue 1 appearances last season, who would sign a five-year contract at St James’ Park. if the two clubs agree on a quota.
Newcastle came close to signing France’s U21 international in January and returned for the player in the summer window.
Ekitike is one of four strikers Newcastle have been discussing as they embark on their first summer transfer window since the Saudi-led takeover was approved late last year.
Magpies also want the broad man
Newcastle United are also looking for a right winger this summer with Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby and Watford’s Ismaila Sarr.
Diaby has a contract that will last until 2025 at Leverkusen. The 22-year-old scored 17 goals and recorded 14 assists in both the Bundesliga and Europa League last season.
Sarr is entering the last two years of his contract with Watford and Sky Sports News has been told that Hornet would “consider offers sensible”.
Watford were relegated from the Premier League last season, with Sarr scoring five goals that season, one of which was during a 1-1 draw against Newcastle last September.
Which positions are Newcastle aiming for?
Sky Sports News reporter Keith Downie:
Eddie Howe made big changes in January with five new arrivals and expects him to make a similar foray into the market in his second takeover window.
The Newcastle boss tries hard to describe the club’s situation as an “Evolution” rather than a “Revolution”, but he knows exactly the areas he wants to strengthen.
Howe will bring another goalkeeper, with Man Utd’s Dean Henderson at the top of his wish list. A new center-back will also be added despite Dan Burn arriving in January and Fabian Schar signing a new contract in May.
A question mark remains about Jamaal Lascelles’ long-term future at the club and it could very well be that the club captain leaves to host a new central defender. Newcastle have tried to sign Sven Botman of Lille and Diego Carlos of Sevilla in the winter window. Expect the club to target someone like this.
Newcastle fans can’t wait to see Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta come to the club, but they would have to spend most of their budget on a player if they were to get Bruno Guimaraes’ best friend. It is more likely, however, that Howe will attempt to add left-back and forward by staying with the midfield he currently has at his disposal.
Hugo Ekitike came close to sealing a move to Tyneside on January Deadline Day, but decided to stay in Reims. Newcastle remain interested, but so do some of Europe’s best clubs. The teen would command a commission in the region of £ 30 million, but could fill both on the band and in a central role, so it could be worth the price. He’s the kind of young designer Howe craves.
The left-back situation is interesting: Newcastle have a chance to make Matt Targett’s Aston Villa permanent on loan for £ 15m, however, the club have been following Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lodi – among others – for a while. ‘of time and may decide to spend a little more on a more offensive option instead.
Newcastle spent £ 95 million in January, there could be a similar type of outlay again if the four or five areas described above are added.