NEWCASTLE are close to a £36million deal to sign Reims star Hugo Ekitike until 2027, reports suggest.
According to the Daily Mail, Ekitike, 19, is set for a major U-turn after declining the Magpies’ advances in January as he thought “it wasn’t the right time” to go.
However, the striker has been impressed by the Toon’s persistence and is now likely to snub other suitors, such as Borussia Dortmund, as he is very keen on a move to the Premier League.
The Frenchman is reportedly close to penning a lucrative five-year deal with Newcastle.
Negotiations reportedly took place on Wednesday as the two clubs tried to iron out an agreement that is expected to be worth up to £36m, including add-ons.
Reims sources claimed the Prem giants initially proposed a two-year loan worth £4m and a £26m obligation to buy in 2024.
Ekitike is considered among the most promising young centre-forwards in Europe and has attracted interest from the continent’s highest bidders, such as Dortmund.
The 19-year-old has flourished at Reims under former Watford and Brighton manager Oscar Garcia.
The France Under-20 international scored 11 goals and bagged four assists in 27 appearances across all competitions this past season.
Ekitike joined the Ligue 1 outfit’s academy at the age of 11 and was promoted to the senior side in 2020.
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The youngster had a short loan stint at Danish club Vejle a year later before getting established as a key member of Garcia’s team.
He is sure to be just one of a number of new faces heading to St James’ Park this summer.