Real Madrid are the latest club to be linked with a move for Hugo Ekitike.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
Originally a target in January, the 19-year-old rejected a move to St James’ Park in favour of completing the season with Reims, while the club continued to track him.
Once again, terms with the French club are understood to have been agreed, although there has been little progress since.
Now, according to French outlet L’Equipe (via Sport Witness), Real Madrid are keeping close tabs on the forward after they were snubbed by Kylian Mbappe.
Reportedly, their idea is to bring in a forward who can cover for Karim Benzema before growing into a leading star in the years to come, much as Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni – two other purchases from Ligue 1 – look set to do.
Why has there been a delay in signing Ekitike?
According to Luke Edwards, there is a feeling “his advisors have been delaying for weeks & still being offered to other clubs” with Newcastle said to be “getting annoyed now”.
Obviously, the idea of the club landing a teenager striker tracked by some of the biggest clubs in the world – particularly one who scored 10 goals in one of Europe’s major leagues last season – is exciting.
Still, there is only so long Newcastle can wait.
Pre-season is less than two weeks away and a decision will have to be made. If Ekitike does not want to come, then perhaps it is best the recruitment staff move onto other targets.
After all, part of what made the end of last season so special was the harmony between the owners, fans and players. Granted, expecting every potential target not to play the field somewhat is not realistic but surely the focus should be on trying to bring in players who actively want to be a part of the project.
What has Ekitike said about Newcastle?
Speaking to L’Equipe (via Football Transfers) in May, the teenager said: “It happened quickly and it was not the time. It was better for me to stay here, to complete the full season and confirm myself.
“I think clubs will show an interest in me. For my part, I’ll be quiet because I’m surrounded by the right people to manage this situation.”