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Transfer Market

Reims confirm Newcastle United offer for Hugo Ekitike accepted – Now waiting for agents to confirm deal

4 weeks ago
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Newcastle United are very close to completing their first signing of the summer, with Hugo Ekitike now on the verge of a move to Tyneside.

French media reported on Wednesday that a transfer fee had been agreed between Reims and Newcastle United for the 19 year old striker.

Now the President of the Ligue 1 club, Jean-Pierre Caillot, has officially confirmed this is the case.

In an interview with FranceBleu, the Reims President states that they have had a ‘concrete’ offer from Newcastle United, that suits the French club ‘very well’ and they are keen to sell.

Caillot says that the deal is now just waiting for Hugo Ekitike to say yes and for the player’s agents to communicate that to him.

This interview has been published today (Thursday 2 June 2022) but it was yesterday (Wednesday 1 June) that the interview was carried out, so every chance that in these past 24 hours Hugo Ekitike and his people have by now given their decision to the Reims President…

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 understood 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.”

As the Reims President points out, any Reims supporters unhappy with the impending departure (Hugo Ekitike looks sure to leave now, whether that is to Newcastle United or whoever) have only (in 99% of cases) discovered how good Hugo Elitike is in these past ten months. As before this season just ended, the striker had only made two first team sub appearances.

Foot Mercato claimed on Wednesday 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. RMC Sport then later backing up those figures, though those in the English media coming up with their own amounts.

However, judging by how happy the Reims President is with the Newcastle United offer, I feel more inclined to trust the French media figures on transfer fee details, than the lower ones claimed by English journalists.

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.

Jean-Pierre Caillot and Reims accepted an offer from Newcastle United back in January but the striker himself decided that it wasn’t the time for such a big move, having at that point made only 11 Ligue 1 starts. 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 (see below) which was published 11 days ago (21 May 2022). The striker confirming that he had turned down a move to Newcastle United in the last transfer window in order to get more ‘established’ before considering a move this summer. That season ending with only 15 Ligue 1 starts due to injury but Hugo Ekitike having scored ten league goals and got four assists.

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.”

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