Newcastle have opened talks with Reims for France Under-20 striker Hugo Ekitike in a bid to bring a forward ahead of Saturday’s game against relegation rivals Watford.
Frontman Ekitike, who made his debut for Reims in August, has scored eight goals in 17 Ligue 1 appearances this season and recorded three assists. The 19-year-old can also play on the left wing.
The two clubs are believed to have held positive talks about a potential deal that could be worth close to £ 30m, with Newcastle now expected to submit a formal offer for Ekitike.
Newcastle struggled to replace top scorer Callum Wilson, who coach Eddie Howe said would be sidelined with a calf injury for two months after Saturday’s FA Cup third-round defeat to Cambridge United.
Ekitike, Dominic Solanke, Patrick Schick, Chris Wood, Divock Origi and Sardar Azmoun have all recently attracted the interest of the Magpies.
Newcastle are keen to avoid playing Saturday’s home game against Watford, who are two points above them, without a recognized striker, having scored just 19 goals in 21 games this season.
The club has been working on a long list of possible targets to try and make additions to a team that has been hit by injuries and Covid-19.
Newcastle could also sign two new strikers before the January window ends.
They have yet to get close to Burnley for Wood, who has scored three goals this season.
Liverpool striker Origi still has six months on his contract and is generating a lot of interest in Italy, but he prefers to move to the Premier League.
Bournemouth striker Solanke, who has scored 19 goals this season for the league club, was signed by Howe for the Cherries in 2019.
Bayer Leverkusen would like £ 50m for Czech striker Schick, Sky Sports News it has been said, which would make a deal unlikely.
Newcastle and Wolves interested in Monaco’s Badiashile
Newcastle are also looking to increase their defense following the arrival of Kieran Trippier.
They presented a second offer worth £ 29.3m for Lille’s Sven Botman on Friday, but the French club values it closer to £ 35m.
Wolves and Newcastle are both interested in Munich central defender Benoit Badiashile.
The 20-year-old Munich Academy graduate is among the numerous options in this position that both clubs are considering.
Newcastle want to sign at least one central defender, with Botman as the main target.
The Wolves wanted to sign Botman in the summer and were also interested in Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car, which will be back on the market in January.
Wolves are not expected to spend a large commission on new players this month.
Technical director Scott Sellars outlined the club’s approach in January last week and said they could do business, but they wouldn’t be busy.
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