Having tracked Ekitike throughout the January transfer window, the nouveau-riche Magpies finally had a bid of around £25m, with a further £8m of potential add-ons, accepted by Reims on deadline day. However, Ekitike decided he was not ready to leave France ahead of an already scheduled medical and opted to remain in Ligue 1.
When asked by L’Equipe why the move didn’t materialize, the Frenchman said, “I have a lot of respect for that big club. But it was all happening very quickly, and the timing wasn’t right. It was better to stay here to play a full season, to establish myself.”
Newcastle are in the market for a potent striker to spearhead their European ambitions. Callum Wilson is not the same man he was before his long-term injury. January signing, Chris Wood has failed to live up to expectations, netting just twice in 15 league games. Dwight Gayle would leave at the end of the season. He barely featured during the current campaign. Newcastle need a new hitman for their ambitious project.
Ekitike suffered an injury in January that sidelined him for a month. He has since struggled to regain his form and spot in the team, but it hasn’t deterred the interest of the Newcastle hierarchy. Despite being rejected in January, they believe the youngster can still become a success in the Premier League despite his recent injury and will make another move this summer.
The magpies would face serious competition from Paris Saint Germain, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Munich, who are all in need of a new number nine for the upcoming campaign. New PSG sporting director Luis Campos is a huge fan of the striker’s talents and wants to bring him to Parc des Princes to feature alongside Kylian Mbappe.
Reims would have no problems cashing in on their star striker. They need the money. It is now up to the clubs in pursuit to slug it out, but the decision will come down to Ekitike to make the best choice for his career.
“In Hugo’s case, he would waste time staying with us. The money will be used to grow and improve the club. Hugo will be allowed to go, and he’s probably going to leave. There wasn’t a big club that didn’t inquire for him.” – Reims President Jean-Pierre Caillot.
Ekitike has scored ten goals and provided four assists in 25 appearances across all competitions this season. A fantastic return for the 19 years old striker who will only get better going forward.