The Magpies have reportedly agreed a deal understood to be worth £25.6million plus add-ons with Reims for Ekitike, who scored 10 goals in 24 Ligue 1 appearances last term.
While it is hoped a transfer for the 19-year-old will be secured this week, 90min have reported that some minor details need to be addressed before the move is complete. It is understood that these minor details are related to agent fees.
Ekitike was forced off with a muscle injury in France Under-20s’ Tournoi Maurice Revello semi-final win over Mexico last week. Les Bleuets went on to win the tournament with a 2-1 win over Venezuela. And Ekitike’s injury is not as bad as first feared as he was pictured celebrating with his teammates after the tournament win.
The 19-year-old was the highest scoring teenager in Europe’s top five leagues in 2021-22, alerting clubs across the continent to his availability this summer.
Newcastle tried and failed to sign Ekitike in the January transfer window but reignited their interest after securing Premier League survival.
The French forward turned down the chance to sign for The Magpies in January as he said ‘the timing wasn’t right’ but he still has ‘a lot of respect’ for the club.
Providing everything goes to plan, Ekitike is likely to follow Matt Targett through the door and become United’s second summer signing.
But one player whose future remains uncertain is Lille defender Sven Botman. The 22-year-old claimed he is likely to leave the Ligue 1 outfit this summer and wants to secure a move to his next club in time for the start of pre-season.
The Telegraph have reported that Newcastle could walk away from the deal after Lille raised their asking price for Botman to £36million after previously agreeing on a £30million fee with United.
After seeing two bids rejected by Lille for Botman in January, this latest u-turn is understood to have angered Newcastle – who are set to stand firm with their £30million offer.
The Dutch defender also remains on AC Milan’s radar, but sources in Italy claim the Serie A champions are also growing frustrated with Lille.
And this tedious transfer saga is set to drag on.