Newcastle transfer news: Fresh claim emerges after £33m setback for Eddie Howe

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe on the touchline

Newcastle United failed in their pursuit of Stade Reims striker Hugo Ekitike because he was not willing to become a bit-part player at St James’ Park, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

The Magpies were incredibly busy during the January transfer window but failed to clinch the services of Ekitike ahead of the deadline.

What’s the latest news involving Ekitike?

Ekitike’s deadline day move to Newcastle, which would have been worth up to £33million after Reims accepted the Magpies’ proposal, fell through little more than an hour before the transfer window slammed shut.

It is understood the 19-year-old wanted to reassess his options in the summer after attracting late interest from European heavyweights Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain.

Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot admitted the Ligue 1 outfit ‘received very good offers’ for the frontman but it was a mutual decision for Ekitike to remain at the club he has been with since the age of 11.

Newcastle were first linked with the teenager before the midway point of the transfer window, but it was understood the Tynesiders were not willing to meet his current employers’ valuation after holding initial discussions.

Ekitike had sprung to Newcastle’s attention after scoring nine goals and registering a further four assists in 21 appearances this season.

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What has Keith Downie said about Ekitike?

Downie believes Ekitike was unwilling to turn his back on his boyhood club in order to become a regular substitute at Newcastle.

The Sky Sports reporter also reckons the frontman had doubts over the long-term plan at St James’ Park.

Downie told GIVEMESPORT: “I think he thought the interest had gone away last week. He had all window to think about the move and I just don’t feel that he wanted to come and be a substitute.

“He’s a starter at Stade Reims and it’s his hometown club. I just think he wasn’t sure about the project at Newcastle and the fact that he wouldn’t have started every game.”

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Valentino Lazaro - Newcastle United

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Who did Newcastle sign before the deadline?

It was a busy deadline day on Tyneside, with Matt Targett joining on loan for the remainder of the season from Aston Villa.

Head coach Eddie Howe, who was appointed in November, rounded off his first transfer window at the helm by forking out £13million for Brighton & Hove Albion defender Dan Burn.

That came after Kieran Trippier had become the first signing under Howe, with the right-back setting the club back £12million to bring him in from reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.

Newcastle also welcomed Chris Wood to St James’ Park after triggering the £25million release clause in his Burnley contract, while Bruno Guimaraes was acquired from Lyon for £40million.

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