Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle make January target top priority signing as £25m fee emerges for Ligue 1 striker

Hugo Ekitike, Marco Verratti Stade Reims v PSG

Newcastle have reportedly made Hugo Ekitike their priority transfer target this summer and are in a prime position to land the Stade Reims forward.

The cash-rich Magpies attempted to sign the 19-year-old in the January window. However, they ended up having a £20million-plus bid knocked back after extensive talks with the Ligue 1 outfit.

But Football Insider claims that a Newcastle source has told them they have kept monitoring the player’s situation and that he has become a top target for Eddie Howe.

Whatsmore, the France Under-21 is said to be available for £25m. And with the Toon already registering a serious interest, that puts them in the driving seat to secure a summer transfer.

Premier League rivals West Ham are also known to have held talks over a deal in January. However, the attacker opted to turn down a switch to England in the new year.

Ekitike has netted 10 goals in 23 games for Reims this term. He is also regarded as one of the top young talents in French football.

At the time of their interest in January, Newcastle wanted Ekitike added as cover for new signing Chris Wood.

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The New Zealander was brought in from Burnley in January after Callum Wilson sustained another injury blow.

While Wood has impressed since his arrival, he has still only scored once in 11 games for the club.

Newcastle’s only other central striking option is Dwight Gayle. The experienced frontman has, however, played only 27 minutes in the Premier League this campaign.

Howe’s men are back in action on Friday night when they host Wolves looking to get back on track after the 5-1 mauling at Tottenham last time out.

READ MORE: Three clubs in Allan Saint-Maximin race as Newcastle reach surprise winger stance