Newcastle United 'close' to transfer breakthrough with player on standby for medical

Newcastle United are set to make a transfer breakthrough, according to a report.

Friday, 17th June 2022, 2:19 pm

Sky Sports report that the club is "close” to agreeing personal terms with striker Hugo Ekitike.

Newcastle have been in talks with Stade de Reims over a move for the 19-year-old, who was also a January target for the club. It’s claimed that Ekitike could travel to Tyneside next week to undergo a medical and complete a move to United.

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Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot confirmed in April that Ekitike would be sold this summer. Caillot said: “We refused an offer of €35million this winter, which is a lot of money for a club like ours. That money will be used to grow and improve the club. Hugo will be allowed to go – and he’s probably going to leave. There wasn’t a big club that didn’t inquire for him.”

Ekitike, a France Under-20 international, is having some time off following his involvement in the Toulon Tournament.

Head coach Eddie Howe spoke about the club’s plans for the summer window last month.

Stade de Reims striker Hugo Ekitike.

"Because of financial fair play, there has to be realistic expectations on what we can spend,” said Howe.

“Our income, at the moment, as a football club, isn't as big as we want it to be in the future, so that impacts our ability to spend. For those people that think it's a vast sum of money, well, it's wrong.

“It doesn't mean we can't improve the squad, but it'll have to be bit by bit. It can't be an overnight thing, and that's due to the fact we need to expand revenue streams.”

Newcastle, also in talks with Lille over a move for defender Sven Botman, may need to be “creative” in the window.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

“I’ve always had the mindset that you’ve got to be creative – and not moan or whinge at what you’re given,” said Howe.

“I’ve always had the mindest of getting the best out of what we have – and find a way to be successful with it.”

United have already signed defender Matt Target from Aston Villa in a £15million deal. The 26-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at the club.