Newcastle United’s big-money pursuit of Hugo Ekitike is off, as the teenager wants to finish the season in France.
The Magpies offered £25m plus £8m in add-ons to Stade Reims for the striker last night, which was reportedly accepted.
However, L’Equipe are now reporting that the Reims striker and his entourage have made the decision to stay in Champagne.
The report states that the youngster, who has been compared to Kylian Mbappe and Thierry Henry, is “not seduced” by the move and instead wants to finish his full season at first team level with Reims.
PIF had a total offer of £29m for the talented forward rejected earlier in the window.
Despite making an improved offer for the Ligue 1 star, the 19-year-old doesn’t look to be Tyneside bound. Journalist Fabrizio Romano stated that the deal was “getting more than complicated”.
On their live blog, Sky Sports stated (31/01/2022-1:44pm): “Hugo Ekitike’s big-money move to Newcastle hangs in the balance.
“We’re told the teenager is talking to those closest to him ahead of a potentially life-changing decision.
“Newcastle may look elsewhere if Ekitike decides against the move, with Jesse Lingard a target all window.”
With the 11pm deadline looming, Ekitike’s indecisiveness has forced the Toon Army to look elsewhere.
Ekitike is enjoying a great season in Ligue 1, scoring eight goals and providing three assists, but time is of the essence and we needed the Frenchman to come to a decision quickly.
Chris Wood has already been signed this month, but with Callum Wilson still injured the additional firepower of Ekitike would have been much-welcomed.
However, after only emerging in the Reims first team this season, it seems that Ekitike is unsure on whether a move to St James’ Park is the best course of action at this stage of his career.
There could well be many more twists and turns with this deal before the January transfer window slams shut, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ekitike opt to stay at Reims for the remainder of the season with a move potentially being resurrected in the summer.
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