Report: Newcastle scouts fully convinced by £33m star, he's right at the top of their recruitment list now
Newcastle scouts are convinced by Hugo Ekitike, who has been a target for the club since the January transfer window.
The Northern Echo report that the Magpies are plotting another raid on Ligue 1 outfit Reims to try and sign the promising striker.
They report that Newcastle agreed a deal which could have been worth up to £33 million all-in for the hitman in the final throws of the window.
But Ekitike opted to stay in France, with Chris Wood spearheading Newcastle’s bid for Premier League safety, which has now been assured.
Newcastle scouts convinced by Ekitike
The rest of the season has not really gone to plan as weeks after snubbing Newcastle, Ekitike picked up an injury and has not played since.
He is not expected to feature for the rest of the season, but that injury problem does not seem to be putting Newcastle’s recruitment staff off.
Neither the injury or the winter snub have dissuaded Newcastle staff that Ekitike has everything it takes to be a huge success in the Premier League.
The report also claims that Reims are open to selling for around the same fee they agreed with Newcastle in January, when the Magpies will hope that the striker is more agreeable to a move.
Coming in during the summer looks to suit Ekitike more.
Arriving in January, there would have been huge pressure to hit the ground running, while adjusting to a new league and country.
Newcastle were still in relegation danger then, and despite his lack of goals, Chris Wood has done a good job of shouldering that responsibility.
Putting that on Ekitike would not have been fair and could have hampered his development.
But if he comes in this summer, he will get a pre-season and arrive at a club which has already turned its momentum around.
If he does have the skills that Newcastle scouts seem to think he does, that will give him a better chance of showing them and being a success in English football.