A key Newcastle transfer claim has been made regarding their pursuit of Reims’ Hugo Ekitike…
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed that the Magpies have failed with their first bid to sign the attacker from the Ligue 1 side this month.
He tweeted: “Reims are not intentioned to accept Newcastle opening proposal for talented striker Hugo Ekitike. Deal more than complicated – there’s interest also from West Ham but nothing advanced yet. # Reims want also a sell on clause included into potential Ekitike deal.”
This comes amid rumours of a move for Burnley attacker Chris Wood, who the Toon are believed to be on the verge of signing.
This will surely infuriate Nick Hammond as he goes about looking to improve Eddie Howe’s Newcastle squad in the January transfer window.
The Magpies are in desperate need of reinforcements, and bringing in players as quickly as possible could be vital with big games coming up in the Premier League. They are currently 19th in the table and have only won one of their 19 matches in the division so far this term, whilst also conceding the joint-most goals along with bottom club Norwich.
This shows how desperate their situation is and why signing targets before the final few days of the window could be crucial as every point counts. Newcastle face Watford on Saturday with a chance to move out of the bottom three, and any signings before that clash could improve their chances of winning, which is why failing with this offer for Ekitike will frustrate Hammond.
Callum Wilson is currently out injured and this puts added pressure on those at the top end of the pitch. He is the club’s top scorer in the Premier League with six goals and is one of just two Magpies players to score more than once in the current top-flight campaign. This means that they will be missing his clinical touch in the final third, and the signing of Ekitike could have alleviated some concerns over his absence, although it remains to be seen if a deal for Wood will be completed in time for him to play.
The 19-year-old has eight goals and two assists in ten Ligue 1 starts this season, which suggests that he could have an immediate impact at St James’ Park if he adjusts to English football. Just imagine a talented young player linking up with the more experienced Wood, someone who has already bagged 50 times in the top-flight.
With that in mind, the duo may well have made a difference in the beat to drop.
Furthermore, they could have made the difference against Watford and, unless something dramatic happens in the next couple of days, the club’s failure to sign Ekitike this week could negate Howe’s chances of beating the Hornets in this weekend’s relegation six-pointer.