An insight into the backup plans of Newcastle United, should the club’s pursuit of Hugo Ekitike ultimately come up short, has been provided on Thursday.
The name of attacking sensation Ekitike has of course taken its place front and centre in the headlines on Tyneside for some time now.
This comes with the 19-year-old, after coming close to making the move to Tyneside during the January transfer window, having been widely tipped as being on the verge of linking up with Eddie Howe’s squad once more over the course of the last couple of weeks.
In fact, several sources went as far as to suggest that a deal was as good as done, owing to an agreement being struck between the respective transfer teams at Newcastle and Reims.
Hugo Ekitike deal. Newcastle and Reims have full agreement on €30m fee plus €5m add-ons, agent is now in talks with Newcastle after being given permission by Reims. ⭐️🇫🇷 #NUFC
Work in progress as Newcastle have been leading the race for weeks.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 4, 2022
And yet, to this point, official confirmation of as much has not arrived.
Why? The continued efforts of Ekitike’s agents to drag out negotiations, in the hope of one of European football’s heavyweights entering the fray for the Frenchman’s services.
The transfer team at Newcastle, in turn, have been left with no choice but to seek out alternative targets, to assure that Eddie Howe is not left without much-needed reinforcements in the attacking third ahead of the new campaign.
A lot of talk on Ekitike again today #nufc haven’t given up yet but as i said earlier in the week they are looking at other targets now and they are getting increasingly irritated with the way things are being handled. The kid is being badly advised basically
— Luke Edwards (@LukeEdwardsTele) June 23, 2022
And now, as alluded to above, an insight into the identity of those identified by the Magpies as backup options has been provided.
The info comes courtesy of Mark Douglas, Northern football correspondent for i Sport.
First up comes OGC Nice star Amine Gouiri, understood to fit into both the ‘age profile and requirements’ of the scouting department on Tyneside.
And too in Newcastle’s sights is understood to be Chelsea talent Armando Broja. Hitman Broja is of course fresh off the back of an impressive campaign in England’s top-flight, which saw him play a starring role for loan club Southampton.
The powers that be at St. James’ Park, in turn, are giving genuine consideration to a move for the Albanian international, albeit in the knowledge that they would be forced to battle it out with West Ham for his signature.
📝 Newcastle’s Ekitike alternatives
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📒 This week’s Northern Notebook from @MsiDouglas https://t.co/OXaprmQYfh
— i sport (@iPaperSport) June 23, 2022
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