Newcastle United are closing in on the signing of Stade Reims striker Hugo Ekitike according to the latest transfer update from Sky Sports.
That was then quickly followed by Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie revealing on Twitter that the new offer had been accepted by Reims.
Then, live on Sky Sports at 10:06am, Downie added: “Ekitike is the big money player that they’re in for. In the last five or ten minutes, I’ve got hold that it is £25m rising to £33m.”
While some people might look at Ekitike’s age – he remains only 19 – and lack of top-flight experience in the Premier League as something that might stop him from making a real impact at St James’ Park this season, the striker has already proven in Ligue 1 that he is very much someone who thrives under the pressure.
His Stade Reims side currently find themselves 14th in the table but just five points off the drop, so Ekitike already knows full well the kind of pressure and expectation which comes withleading the line for a team battling to avoid relegation.
The kind of player that he is surely has Eddie Howe raving too.
In a piece done by Total Football Analysis, they wrote: “Ekitike is a promising forward who’s proficient in off-the-ball movement, one-touch finishing, tenacity, work rate, driving into space and protecting the ball in a standing position.”
With eight goals and four assists in 20 games in all competitions, the teenager has been prolific both as a number nine and even in the stints he’s had out wide on the left – the kind of versatility that Howe will surely love.
Whether it’s playing up front by himself, or playing off the left, or even just providing a bit of punch from the bench, Ekitike’s prospective big-money signing will delight Howe in terms of the kind of ambition and statement that PIF are making by committing a considerable sum of money for a talented prospect.