Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle striker hunt in tatters as top target ‘snubs move to St James’ Park’

Hugo Ekitike Reims January 2022

Having already added Chris Wood to their ranks, Newcastle have suffered a major blow as they attempt to land striker Hugo Ekitike on deadline day.

The Magpies are admirers of the Stade Reims youngster. He boasts a record of eight goals and three assists in Ligue 1 this season. The French outfit are willing to sell before tonight’s deadline, but only for the right price.

With that in mind, Newcastle put between £25m-33m on the table and soon had an agreement in place for his transfer.

But The Independent, who cite French newspaper L’Equipe, provide a major blow. They claim Newcastle are set to be disappointed in their pursuit of Ekitike as he does not want join.

The France U21 international wants to spend the remainder of the season at Reims, his hometown club.

Hugo Ekitike has Newcastle doubts

He also has doubts about moving to St James’ Park given Newcastle’s precarious league position. They sit 18th as things stand, having won just twice in 21 matches, making relegation to the Championship a real possibility.

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Eddie Howe is missing goalscorer Callum Wilson following the Englishman’s calf injury against Manchester United on December 27.

With Ekitike now unlikely to join, Howe will have to deal with limited attacking options until Wilson returns in March.

Although Newcastle are facing frustration in that particular hunt, they still have several players poised to join. Defenders Dan Burn and Matt Targett are undergoing medicals at the club’s training ground, while talks with United are being carried out to try and sign Jesse Lingard.

The worst January deadline day signings in recent Premier League history

Newcastle make Issa Diop bid

In addition, the Tyneside club are awaiting West Ham’s response after reportedly launching a bid for centre-back Issa Diop.

According to French source RMC Sport, Newcastle have sent West Ham an €8m (£6.6m) offer for the 25-year-old. This is despite his transfer value sitting at £10.8m, as per transfermarkt.

Eddie Howe’s side are now waiting for the Irons to respond, although the bid is likely to be pushed back. reported earlier in the month that West Ham would not be selling Diop. That came after injuries to Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma.

Those long-term problems saw Diop come into the starting lineup in early December, where he has been pretty much ever since.

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