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Transfer Market

Hugo Ekitike decision now awaited after Reims and Newcastle United agree transfer fee – Report

3 weeks ago
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Wednesday brought news from France that agreement had been reached between Newcastle and Reims on the transfer fee for Hugo Ekitike.

Foot Mercato stating that the fee agreed would see Newcastle United buy Hugo Ekitike for an initial sum of 36 million euros (approx £30.7m) then a future potential 10 million euros (approx £8.5m) in ‘easily attainable bonuses’ when hitting certain targets.

Hugo Ekitike is currently playing in the Maurice Revello tournament with the France Under 20 team, the competition held in France (Newcastle’s Santiago Munoz is in the Mexico Under 20 squad for the tournament). Foot Mercato added that they think once / if final agreement is reached by all parties, then the striker would very likely leave the tournament to complete the deal.

RMC Sport have now confirmed that this is also their information, in terms of a transfer fee having been agreed between the two clubs, plus the amounts quoted.

However, RMC Sport say that they also understand that it is now down to the player on whether he agrees to the transfer to St James Park. With no final decision made as yet.

Back in January, a 19 year old Hugo Ekitike watched on as Reims and Newcastle United then agreed a transfer fee for the teenager to head to Tyneside.

However, that deal was brought to a halt when Hugo Ekitike himself decided that it wasn’t the time for such a big move, having at that point made only 11 Ligue 1 starts. Reims then later putting out a statement (see below) at the very end of the transfer window, on 31 January 2022, claiming that it had been a ‘mutual’ decision by club and player not to do the transfer to Newcastle United at that point.

Hugo Ekitike had scored eight goals despite only eleven Ligue 1 starts by the end of January 2022, then having stayed at Reims for regular first team football, it was ironic then that after picking up a thigh injury it led to almost three months out injured and only four more Ligue 1 starts added and two more goals.

As the 2021/22 season came to a close, Hugo Ekitike gave an interview to L’Equipe (also below) which was published 11 days ago (21 May 2022). The striker stating that the ‘timing’ had simply been wrong for a big first move in January 2022, that he wanted to get a full season of first team regular football under his belt before considering a move.

In that May interview, Hugo Ekitike asked what he expected to happen now in this summer 2022 transfer window, the young striker replying ‘I see it being lively. I think people will show interest in me.’

Turning 20 later this month (20 June 2022), despite only 14 Ligue 1 starts this past season, Hugo Ekitike scored ten league goals and got four assists.

RMC Sport are also making clear that this latest reported agreement between Reims and Newcastle United is structured very differently to the January one. Whilst now the French media are reporting that the deal offered by Newcastle and agreed by Reims, is 36 million euros (approx £30.7m) then a future potential 10 million euros (approx £8.5m) in ‘easily attainable bonuses’ when hitting certain targets. RMC Sport include in their new report a look back to the aftermath of the January window and the Hugo Ekitike deal that had been agreed between Newcastle and the Ligue 1 club, Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot saying back then about Newcastle United that ‘They did offer us 35 million (euros) in total, but with many bonuses, some of which were almost impossible to achieve. Like, for example, winning the Champions League.’

There is serious competition for Hugo Ekitike from some top European clubs, so it would be potentially a bit of a major coup if Newcastle United can land this exciting young striker.

Whilst this Hugo Ekitike transfer news broke yesterday, the player himself was involved in the Maurice Revello tournament. A match played in Vitrolles, the France Under 20 team beating (ironically!) Saudi Arabia 5-0, Hugo Ekitike coming off the bench for the final 28 minutes when the score was already 5-0.

Hugo Ekitike speaking on 21 May 2022 to L’Équipe:

“Newcastle wanted you in the winter, why did you stay (at Reims)?”

“I have a lot of respect for that big club (Newcastle United).

“However, it was all happening very quickly.

“The timing wasn’t right.

“It was better to stay here (with Reims), to play a full season, to establish myself.”

“Lately you have been saying that you ‘feel at home’….Are you ready to leave home?”

“I consider myself ready for anything.

“Whether that is staying here, or taking up a challenge that everyone agrees with (elsewhere).”

“How do you react to these rumours that surround you?”

“It makes me smile because it gratifies my hard work.

“I know that what I’m doing on the pitch is good, it has being recognised.

“It pushes me to give the best account of myself.

“I always want to progress and become the best.”

“How do you imagine your summer?”

“I see it being lively.

“I think people will show interest in me.

“I will stay calm because I’m surrounded by the right people who will manage all of that.”

Reims FC official statement – 31 January 2022:

‘Despite the offers made, Hugo Ekitike and the Stade de Reims have decided by mutual agreement to continue the adventure together.

Stade de Reims, through its president Jean-Pierre Caillot, is delighted to be able to count on its striker until the end of the season.

Jean-Pierre Caillot:

“It is true that we received very good offers for Hugo during this transfer window.

“Our desire has always been to keep him at least one full season.

“He too was keen not to skip the stages, wanting to be a little more lasting in the club project, that of his training club which he joined at the age of 11.

“We share the feeling that there is still a piece of history to write together.

“We are happy to be able to count on him from Sunday against Bordeaux.”

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