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‘Hugo Ekitike situation – This is embarrassing from Newcastle United supporters’

2 weeks ago
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Hugo Ekitike could be signing for Newcastle United very soon.

Or indeed he may never do…

Welcome to the summer 2022 transfer window, the same as every other transfer window, though in Newcastle’s case things are different because we now have ambitious clued up management and owners who are desperate to make the club successful. As opposed to the 14+ years of Mike Ashley that we had to endure.

However, one thing doesn’t change, this transfer window exactly the same as previous ones, in terms of you never know really what is the truth for sure, until you see the new signing with a black and white scarf/ shirt paraded at St James Park…or whichever other club he has ended up at instead.

Anyway, whilst our hopes / expectations have been raised and money will be spent, this summer 2022 window hasn’t been an easy one for many / any Newcastle fans.

A lot of potential signings speculated but so far only Matt Targett bought in and we already know what he can do. That transfer kind of taken for granted as well by many supporters, as he was here for the second half of last season and it seemed such a no-brainer to make it permanent.

Nick Pope also now seems set to join Targett at St James Park but it is the names of Hugo Ekitike and Sven Botman that have loomed largest in this transfer window so far.

These are players who Newcastle United tried to sign in January and throughout the entire month of June we have had hourly / daily ‘updates’ on the two potential signings. Sven Botman said / claimed at the start of the month that Newcastle and AC Milan were / are trying to sign him. Botman has come in for some stick from Newcastle supporters who are frustrated that he hasn’t yet signed, though there is also an understanding amongst many supporters that Lille may be messing NUFC around when it comes to possibly keep raising the asking price.

However, with Hugo Ekitike, I see increasing numbers of Newcastle United supporters simply having a go at the 20 year old. Taking their frustration / anger out on the player when in reality, nobody knows what is happening.

What certainly didn’t help was this from Jean-Pierre Caillot (see below) three weeks ago.

The Reims FC President making public that the club had accepted an offer from Newcastle United…

“An offer 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 file.

“And if at the time of speaking this is not done, it is because his advisers have not yet wished to move forward with this club.”

“We remain discreet but hey… it’s an English club so we understand which club we’re talking about… (smiles).”

What possible motivation could there have been from the Reims FC President to do this? I certainly don’t think he was doing it for the right reasons! Making public Newcastle’s offer before the deal had been given a chance to progress…hmmm!

For whatever reason, the Reims President putting a very pubic focus on the then 19 year old player and his representatives. Whilst to me, the whole thing instead smacks of him trying to draw out other clubs who may offer more. Yes he is keen to say Newcastle’s offer ‘suits us very well’ BUT I bet a bigger offer from elsewhere would ‘suit’ Reims even better!

Who knows for sure (certainly not the journalists / media!) that it isn’t Reims themselves holding up the potential transfer, waiting to see if somebody else will offer more.

There were also reports following Jean-Pierre Caillot’s reveal at the start of the month, saying that as well as Hugo Ekitike and his agents needing to sort / agree their side of things, Reims and Newcastle still had to agree how the transfer fee was to be paid, with Newcastle wanting to pay as little up front as possible and the rest in instalments (to maximise how much could be spent this summer and stay well within FFP restrictions), whilst naturally the Ligue 1 club wanted the opposite – as much as possible paid up front by NUFC.

Who is to say that there has been any agreement on how that agreed price is paid by Newcastle United, if indeed it was / is a proper accepted offer, in that Reims FC have absolutely committed to selling to Newcastle United at that price, if Hugo Ekitike and his representatives are happy with the deal and personal terms etc?

Newcastle fans wanting to blindly slate Ekitike at this point just makes no sense.

Even if it did turn out to be Hugo Ekitike keeping his options open at this point, see which other clubs are interested, who could blame him?

We aren’t even two weeks into the transfer window, so not exactly a time sensitive decision at the moment.

Hugo Ekitike hadn’t even started a first team match in his career until last season and even now, he has only started 15 Ligue 1 matches in total and just turned 20 two days ago.

It is a massive move for him, one that could make him or break him, whether he goes to Newcastle or wherever.

You look at Alan Shearer and even though a lifelong Newcastle United fan, back in 1996 he spoke to Man Utd and other clubs, including some in Serie A.

If Hugo Ekitike ends up at St James Park then I will welcome him wholeheartedly, if he ends up going elsewhere I won’t lose any sleep over it.

Jean-Pierre Caillot speaking to FranceBleu.fr – Published 2 June 2022:

“Let’s talk about the Hugo Ekitike file, we read and hear a lot. Just one question: do you have, as we speak (Editor’s note: the interview was carried out on Wednesday June 1), one or more concrete and written offers for the player?”

“Yes. Today, it is very concrete.

“And on the table there is one that suits us very well.

“An offer 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 file.

“And if at the time of speaking this is not done, it is because his advisers have not yet wished to move forward with this club.”

“What club is it?”

“We remain discreet but hey… it’s an English club so we understand which club we’re talking about… (smiles).”

“Quite frankly, did you expect to see Hugo Ekitike reach this level very quickly and emerge so quickly in Ligue 1?”

“It’s been years since (Reims Sporting Director) Mathieu Lacour told me that we had a nugget in store.

“Where I was surprised, like all supporters, was how quickly he emerged.

“So it’s true, he was helped by the context because in fact he was 4th striker in the hierarchy and then the injury game also meant that he was able to show all his qualities.

“It also makes me smile today, because it sometimes seems that it would be the end of the Stade de Reims if he (Hugo Ekitike) were to leave us when a year ago, 90% of the people (supporters) did not know him.”

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