Talks between Paris Saint-Germain and Stade Reims have reportedly begun as the Ligue 1 champions aim to win the race for Newcastle target Hugo Ekitike.
The forward was in good form last season, notching 11 goals and three assists for Stade Reims in 25 outings. He is only 20 years old, which means his next club could end up having a top-class striker on their hands.
Newcastle have been in the mix for his signing since January. They were on the verge of a deal on January 31, deadline day, but it didn’t go through as Ekitike had reservations about Newcastle’s league position.
The Magpies went on to finish 11th in the Premier League, under the guidance of Eddie Howe. This led to hope that Ekitike would join in the summer.
However, negotiations to sign the Frenchman stalled recently. And PSG are now in pole position to land him, as per ESPN.
They cite Mike McGrath of The Telegraph, who reveals talks between PSG and Reims have taken place this week.
Ekitike is now moving closer to joining the French giants. He could become their first new signing since Christophe Galtier replaced Mauricio Pochettino as boss.
It is a blow for Newcastle to miss out on Ekitike. But it has been coming for a couple of weeks now and the Magpies must focus on other transfer targets.
Not essential for Newcastle to sign Hugo Ekitike
Plus, Howe already has Callum Wilson and Chris Wood available up front. So there isn’t a necessity for a new striker to come in – it just would have been good to have a younger option.
The pull of PSG is obvious, although Ekitike could be relinquishing some playing time by going there.
At Newcastle, he had a good chance of replacing Wilson or Wood in the first team over the next few years.
At PSG, however, he may struggle to get into a front three which also involves Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are pursuing a Chelsea player after finding out the cost of capturing Moussa Diaby from Leverkusen.