Hugo Ekitike says he would have come to Newcastle United but was waiting to speak…
Jean-Pierre Caillot told French media on 1 June 2022, that FC Reims had accepted an offer for the transfer of Hugo Ekitike.
The Ligue 1 club’s President saying that the FC Reims hierarchy were very happy with what Newcastle had offered…but now it was up to the player himself and his representatives, whether the deal was completed.
On 16 July 2022, 45 days later after Newcastle’s offer was accepted by FC Reims, Hugo Ekitike was announced as PSG’s new signing.
The 21 year old has already spoken of reasons why he joined PSG and not Newcastle United.
However, in this latest interview, it becomes a lot clearer exactly what happened AND especially why things were so drawn out.
The player saying that he was already thinking he would prefer to go to PSG ahead of Newcastle United but was waiting to speak to Luis Campos. Hugo Ekitike saying that he had to wait for that appointment to speak to Campos ‘not so long ago’…
So, the FC Reims President said on 1 June that they’d accepted the offer from Newcastle United BUT Luis Campos only joined PSG on 10 June as their new football adviser, in charge of ‘organisation, recruitment and performance’ at the French club.
So basically, Hugo Ekitike and his agents knowing that Luis Campos was coming in to take charge of recruitment at PSG and nothing able to be done until that happened.
There was also talk of PSG having to wait until the new financial year (after 30 June 2022) before signing anybody and they made their first two signings on 1 July 2022, midfielder Vitinha and left back Nuno Mendes. Hugo Ekitike then announced on 16 July.
Having to wait his turn in the scheme of things, very likely that it was into July by the time Luis Campos was meeting him, a few weeks after starting his new job.
The last decade has seen PSG win eight league titles, the only exceptions in that time were Monaco in 2016/17 and Lille in 2020/21. Luis Campos was the Sporting Director who recruited and built the teams at both clubs, one of his key signings at Lille was Sven Botman, brought in for around £6m in summer 2020 as a 20 year old and a key player in that title winning team.
Hugo Ekitike says that if PSG hadn’t wanted to sign him, then he would have been happy to accept Newcastle’s offer and move to St James’ Park.
Hugo Ekitike interviewed by Le Parisien and reported by Le10Sport, why he ended up signings for PSG and not Newcastle United, what actually happened:
‘Did you put Newcastle on hold last winter and then this summer, despite the agreement with Reims, because you were waiting for PSG?’
“I had an appointment with Luis (Campos) which meant a lot for me.
“It was not so long ago.
“We talked a lot, he is someone I consider enormously.
“I wanted to come to PSG before this exchange but it convinced me even more.
“I don’t put aside everything Newcastle did to get me to come.
“If I had to go abroad, I would have gone there.
“But when PSG wants you and you’re French, you can’t refuse.”
‘What was the content of Luis Campos’ speech?’
“To convince me, you have to talk about sport. What interests me is the game and what can be implemented.
“We discussed that a lot, his vision, mine and we were in total osmosis.
“He sees me as a player with a lot of qualities and predicts an interesting future for me. I know he has confidence in me, he thinks I’m going to do great things and I will give him that confidence back on the pitch.”
“I wanted to come to PSG before this exchange, but it convinced me even more”
‘Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to opt for Newcastle before joining a top club? Like PSG?’
“The danger did not enter into my thinking.
“All those who positioned themselves were big clubs.
“I’m not afraid of anything, I want to discover the high level.
“PSG is the biggest club in France, also in the world.
“As long as you are ambitious and know what you want, why proceed step by step? That’s how I thought. For me, we are not born great, we become it!”
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