The president of Stade Reims has confirmed that they have accepted a bid from ‘an English club’ for young striker Hugo Ekitike.
90min confirmed earlier this month that Newcastle have finally struck a deal to sign the talented teenager, who was among their top targets during the January transfer window and had been expected to make the move to St James’ Park.
Talks collapsed in January but Newcastle have now agreed to pay €31m (£26.4m) to sign Ekitike, with Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot confirming to France Bleu that everything is now in the hands of the player.
“Yes [there is an offer], it is very concrete,” Caillot admitted. “It’s an offer which suits us very well and which, in my view, is sportingly interesting for the player and it is now up to him to make his choice, it is not for me to do so.
“From now on, it is his advisers who must move forward on this one. If it’s not done, it’s because his advisers have not yet wished to move forward with this club.”
Listen now to 90min’s brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. This week they discuss Man Utd’s interest in Darwin Nunez, Ivan Perisic’s move to Spurs & Chelsea’s midfield options – with Conor Gallagher set to return and Jorginho on the market. Toby also talks about the long list of interested clubs in Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet.
When asked to confirm whether he was speaking about Newcastle, Caillot chose to remain tight-lipped but admitted that the negotiations are hardly a secret at this point.
“We’re remaining discreet but, hey, it’s an English club. You know which club we’re talking about.”
Caillot continued: “[Ekitike’s agents] have not yet started to move forward on the deal on which we are in agreement.
“It’s part of their game, and there are lots of agent structures. There are big agent firms that have connections in all directions and it’s often easier to work with these people than agents who only have one player. I spent enough time on the transfer of Axel Disasi, who was advised by his brother, and it was very complicated. So I hope that won’t be the case with Hugo.”
Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are both interested in Ekitike, who is understood to be keen on a move to St James’ Park this summer, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Newcastle remain confident they can get a deal done.