On Wednesday, the Reims FC President , Jean-Pierre Caillot, officially confirmed to French media (see below) that the Ligue 1 club had accepted an offer for Hugo Ekitike from Newcastle United.
In the interview with FranceBleu, the Reims President stated that they had a ‘concrete’ offer from Newcastle United, that suits the French club ‘very well’ and they are keen to sell.
Caillot adding that the deal was now just waiting for Hugo Ekitike to say yes and for the player’s agents to communicate that to him.
rmcsport.bfmtv.com/football/transferts/mercato-ekitike-a-donne-son-accord-pour-un-transfert-a-newcastle-qui-est-d-accord-avec-reims_AV-202206040306.html”>RMC Sport late on Saturday night have reported that their information is that Hugo Ekitike has ‘finally agreed’ to a move to Newcastle United and communicated this to the Reims FC hierarchy via his agents.
They say that unless there is an unlikely turnaround by the striker, which they say is ‘unimaginable at this stage’…then Hugo Ekitike will next season be ‘playing in the best league in the World’ for Newcastle United.
Understandably, Newcastle fans are desperate for news of new signings (as always!) and now with Eddie Howe and the new owners, there is more anticipation of, and belief of, ambitious signings set to happen. However, not really any need to panic because an official announcement hasn’t been made as yet, on Hugo Ekitike, or indeed anybody else.
As well as this being a huge decision for a 19 year old player to make, you also have the complication that Hugo Ekitike is currently playing in the Maurice Revello tournament with the France Under 20 team.
Ahead of last night’s update from RMC Sport on the Hugo Ekitike transfer situation, the player started for France Under 20s against Argentina.
Showing his versatility, which is part of the attraction obviously for Newcastle United, Hugo Ekitike didn’t start up front for his country, instead he was on the right side of an attacking trio playing behind Bordeaux centre-forward Sekou Mara.
Hugo Ekitike helped the France Under 20s race into a 3-0 lead by half-time before the Reims striker was subbed. The French team going on to eventually hammer the Argentina Under 20s 6-2.
That result means that the France Under 20s have topped their four team group in the competition (12 countries split into three groups of four, the top team from each and the best runners-up going through), this means they now have a semi-final on Thursday (9 June), before potentially then the final on Sunday (12 June).
With a five day break between yesterday’s final group match and Thursday’s semi-final, that would of course potentially allow Hugo Ekitike to leave the France Under 20s camp and complete a move to Newcastle United, without missing any matches. However, every chance it may have to wait until the tournament is at an end, unless the Reims striker pulls out.
Whilst the transfer window doesn’t officially open until Friday (10 June), other Premier League clubs have already announced a number of signings (which will then be officially registered by the governing bodies once the window opens). With now less than four weeks until the Newcastle United first team squad start pre-season preparations, fans hoping to see plenty of transfer movement, in and out, before that work on the training pitch begins for next season.
Official confirmation of Hugo Ekitike would be a very exciting signing to kick this summer transfer market off for Newcastle United. Here’s hoping.
Jean-Pierre Caillot speaking to FranceBleu.fr – Published 2 June 2022:
“Let’s talk about the Hugo Ekitike file, we read and hear a lot. Just one question: do you have, as we speak (Editor’s note: the interview was carried out on Wednesday June 1), one or more concrete and written offers for the player?”
“Yes. Today, it is very concrete.
“And on the table there is one that suits us very well.
“An offer which, in my view, is sportingly interesting for the player and it is now up to him to make his choice, it is not for me to do so.
“From now on, it is his advisers who must move forward on this file.
“And if at the time of speaking this is not done, it is because his advisers have not yet wished to move forward with this club.”
“What club is it?”
“We remain discreet but hey… it’s an English club so we understood which club we’re talking about… (smiles).”
“Quite frankly, did you expect to see Hugo Ekitike reach this level very quickly and emerge so quickly in Ligue 1?”
“It’s been years since (Reims Sporting Director) Mathieu Lacour told me that we had a nugget in store.
“Where I was surprised, like all supporters, was how quickly he emerged.
“So it’s true, he was helped by the context because in fact he was 4th striker in the hierarchy and then the injury game also meant that he was able to show all his qualities.
“It also makes me smile today, because it sometimes seems that it would be the end of the Stade de Reims if he (Hugo Ekitike) were to leave us when a year ago, 90% of the people (supporters) did not know him.”
As the Reims President pointed out, any Reims supporters unhappy with the impending departure have only (in 99% of cases) discovered how good Hugo Elitike is in these past ten months. As before this season just ended, the striker had only made two first team sub appearances.
Foot Mercato reported on Wednesday that the fee agreed would see Newcastle United buy Hugo Ekitike for an initial sum of 36 million euros (approx £30.7m) then a future potential 10 million euros (approx £8.5m) in ‘easily attainable bonuses’ when hitting certain targets. RMC Sport then later backing up those figures, though those in the English media coming up with their own amounts.
However, judging by how happy the Reims President is with the Newcastle United offer, I feel more inclined to trust the French media figures on transfer fee details, than the lower ones claimed by English journalists.
Jean-Pierre Caillot and Reims accepted an offer from Newcastle United back in January but the striker himself decided that it wasn’t the time for such a big move, having at that point made only 11 Ligue 1 starts. Hugo Ekitike had scored eight goals despite only eleven Ligue 1 starts by the end of January 2022, then having stayed at Reims for regular first team football, it was ironic then that after picking up a thigh injury it led to almost three months out injured and only four more Ligue 1 starts added and two more goals.
As the 2021/22 season came to a close, Hugo Ekitike gave an interview to L’Equipe (see below) which was published on 21 May 2022. The striker confirming that he had turned down a move to Newcastle United in the last transfer window in order to get more ‘established’ before considering a move this summer. That season ending with only 15 Ligue 1 starts due to injury but Hugo Ekitike having scored ten league goals and got four assists.
Hugo Ekitike speaking on 21 May 2022 to L’Équipe:
“Newcastle wanted you in the winter, why did you stay (at Reims)?”
“I have a lot of respect for that big club (Newcastle United).
“However, it was all happening very quickly.
“The timing wasn’t right.
“It was better to stay here (with Reims), to play a full season, to establish myself.”
“Lately you have been saying that you ‘feel at home’….Are you ready to leave home?”
“I consider myself ready for anything.
“Whether that is staying here, or taking up a challenge that everyone agrees with (elsewhere).”
“How do you react to these rumours that surround you?”
“It makes me smile because it gratifies my hard work.
“I know that what I’m doing on the pitch is good, it has being recognised.
“It pushes me to give the best account of myself.
“I always want to progress and become the best.”
“How do you imagine your summer?”
“I see it being lively.
“I think people will show interest in me.
“I will stay calm because I’m surrounded by the right people who will manage all of that.”
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