In his Chronicle Live Q&A, Lee Ryder has revealed that the Magpies are expecting to meet with the Frenchman to discuss a move in the coming days.
A supporter asked for an update on the situation with the Stade Reims gem and Ryder replied: “Certainly on Ekitike the club are hopeful of finally getting face to face with the player and agent this week.”
Earlier this month, Keith Downie claimed that the Toon are looking to wrap up a deal in the region of £25m for the France U21 international.
The Magpies’ boss will be delighted by this news as it suggests that he will finally have an opportunity to speak to the player in person.
If Howe is part of the team meeting with Ekitike, along with Dan Ashworth, then he will have the chance to convince the player that a move to St. James’ Park is the right one for him to make. He can assure the gem about his playing time and make him feel like he will be a valuable member of the squad.
The ex-Bournemouth boss will be keen to persuade the 20-year-old to come over to Tyneside as he has the potential to be an exceptional signing for the club.
In Ligue 1 last season, the striker enjoyed a fantastic campaign as he plundered ten goals and three assists in 15 starts for Reims. He was able to make a big impact in the final third on a regular basis, despite his young age, and this suggests that he can be an upgrade on Howe’s current options in attack.
No Newcastle player scored more than eight goals in the Premier League last term and the signing of Ekitike would provide a much-needed boost at that end of the pitch. Callum Wilson was the only Toon attacker with more than five goals and this suggests that Howe is in desperate need of attacking reinforcements.
At the age of 20, the Reims centre-forward would also be a signing for the future as he has room to develop and hone his skills in the years to come. This means that Howe can enjoy working with him over the course of multiple seasons and can take pride in helping him to fulfil his potential, which is why he will be buzzing to meet with the player this week to discuss a deal.