Hugo Ekitike hit by fresh Newcastle United blow after rejected move & major Champions League decision
Hugo Ekitike could have been preparing for Champions League football with Newcastle United had things panned out differently.
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The 21-year-old forward twice turned down the opportunity to join Newcastle from Ligue 1 side Reims in January and June last year, joining PSG on loan instead. The Magpies even had a bid accepted by Reims but negotiations failed to progress regarding personal terms with agent’s fees being a particular sticking point.
After scoring four goals in 32 appearances for PSG, Ekitike has been deemed surplus to requirements by the Ligue 1 champions and was free to leave the club in the summer. Ekitike was linked with a move to West Ham United and Brentford in the Premier League as well as Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.
Frankfurt were understood to be pushing to sign the French forward but, once again, the player seemingly refused the transfer.
PSG have been drawn in the same Champions League group as Newcastle alongside Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan.
But Ekitike won’t get the chance to visit St James’ Park having been left out of the PSG’s Champions League squad. As a homegrown player born after January 1, 2002, this is a significant statement made by PSG that Ekitike is viewed as surplus to requirements in the French capital.
Following deadline day, the young forward was also left out of PSG’s squad to face Lyon in Ligue 1 having being named on the bench in the previous three fixtures.
RMC Sport claim Ekitike and midfielder Marco Verratti have been left out of PSG’s squad for the Champions League group stage while Keylor Navas, who spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, has been included in the squad along with the injured Presnel Kimpembe.
PSG were said to be ‘furious’ with Ekitike’s apparent refusal to switch to the Bundesliga while Verratti has been strongly linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League, whose transfer window remains open.
Newcastle will host PSG at St James’ Park on October 4 in what will be their first Champions League home game since 2003. The Magpies will then visit Paris on November 29.