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Newcastle can put striker search on hold if they complete Hugo Ekitike deal - opinion

A deal to bring Hugo Ekitike to Newcastle United doesn’t feel far away.

There’s been huge developments over the past few days, and it looks like Eddie Howe is very close to making his first signing of the summer.

It was reported late last week that a £26million fee with Stade Reims had been accepted. And it’s now claimed that Ekitike has agreed to move to St James’ Park.

That was the stumbling point in January, with the forward unwilling to join the Magpies at the time. A lot has changed since then, but Newcastle’s desire to land the French forward hasn’t wavered.

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He looks set to be the latest arrival at Newcastle, following January deals for the likes of Bruno Guimaraes and Kieran Trippier.

Ekitike is a very different player. At 19-years-old, he’s clearly one who is predominantly for the future. However, signing the teenager could have a big impact on our immediate plans in the transfer window.

Callum Wilson backup is less desperate if Hugo Ekitike deal is completed

It’s been clear for a long time that Newcastle would target a striker this summer. Callum Wilson’s most recent injury proved that he simply can’t be relied upon to stay fit.

The likes of Darwin Nunez, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ivan Toney have all been linked. They would all be welcome at St James’ Park, and would compete directly with Wilson to be Howe’s main striker.

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However, big asking prices are apparently being thrown around. The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has wrote on Twitter that Calvert-Lewin and Toney are ‘too expensive at the moment’.

That puts those moves in doubt, with Newcastle unwilling to overspend. Sadly, clubs will be commanding huge fees given our newfound wealth.

But a deal for Ekitike should relieve the pressure. Yes he’s only 19 and has no experience in the Premier League, but he will believe he can be the competition that Wilson needs.

It’s been reported that Newcastle want another forward on top of Ekitike, but is it necessary?

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Capable of playing out wide and through the middle, Ekitike can be the extra striker we crave. While fans will feel more comfortable if a more experienced name arrives, Newcastle may already be about to sign the attacking backup they’ve needed all year.

A deal for Ekitike will relieve the pressure on Tyneside, and allow the club to focus their transfer efforts elsewhere. They can revisit the striker chase later in the window.

Perhaps by then the astronomical asking prices will have been reduced.

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