Newcastle continue to progress on the first senior signing of the summer. According to Mark Douglas with i newsReims striker Hugo Ekitike is about to become a Magpie.
Interestingly, Douglas supports recent claims by Luke Edwards of the Telegraph that the upfront fee is not as high as advertised. Douglas reports that Newcastle will only pay £15m upfront for the 19-year-old.
This is similar to what Edwards claimed on Twitter yesterday.
On Ekitike someone is trying to claim #nufc agreed to pay much more for the player than they did. Newcastle hadn’t agreed to pay £25m upfront in January, instead it was £12m with add-ons to bring it up to around £30m. Negotiations are continuing. Guaranteed to be “Undisclosed Charges”.
— Luke Edwards (@LukeEdwardsTele) June 2, 2022
Reims chairman Jean-Pierre Caillot recently said Ekitike will cost around £30m in total. However, he also mentioned that the deal would be structured with easily doable add-ons.
If Newcastle can bring Ekitike in for a lower initial fee, it will help with their other summer signing. Douglas, as has been widely reported, believes Sven Botman and Moussa Diaby are two other priority targets.
Douglas does not expect many additions. He has Newcastle signings capped at four with more significantly depending on how many fringe players can be offloaded. New sporting director Dan Ashworth has been tasked with trimming the squad.
The fourth target on the priority list is Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Toffees have been hot on the heels of the 25-year-old striker. It would take a colossal supply to entice them to sell.
Calvert-Lewin representatives are open to offers as interest is high for their client. Arsenal have also identified the England international as a target. The Gunners confirmed on Friday that Alexandre Lacazette will do so when his contract expires at the end of the month.