Newcastle ‘willing to walk away’ from £25.6m target at St. James’ Park

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe in the Premier League against Manchester City

Newcastle United are ‘getting frustrated’ at the protracted transfer negotiations surrounding Hugo Ekitike, according to Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie.

The 20-year-old is at the centre of what feels like a never-ending transfer saga between the Magpies and his boyhood club Stade Reims with a conclusion appearing to be as far away as ever.

What is the latest news involving Ekitike?

Eddie Howe’s charges first tried to snap up Ekitike back in January and had an offer potentially rising to £33 million accepted by the Ligue 1 outfit.

However, when Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain showed late interest in the France Under-21 international, he decided to stay put the remainder of the campaign.

It was then revealed by Sky Sports earlier on in June that ‘positive talks’ had once again taken place between Reims and Newcastle over Ekitike’s transfer.

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A fee worth around €30m (£25.6m) was said to be under discussion, but a hamstring injury picked up while he was away with the national team delayed the deal.

And it seems as though Newcastle are no nearer to getting the deal over the line, with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano describing the whole saga as ‘now getting more than complicated’.

What has Downie said about Ekitike?

Downie believes that Newcastle could be prepared to ‘walk away’ from the deal after outwardly reaching an impasse in negotiations for the talented attacker.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I have to say, the longer this goes on, and the more noises that come out from his people and Newcastle are willing to walk away.

“I mean, it was described to me yesterday as Newcastle are getting frustrated because the whole transfer has been difficult. And I think that’s putting it lightly to be honest. I think they are getting frustrated.”

Who could Newcastle sign instead?

The i recently claimed that Chelsea striker Armando Broja and OGC Nice forward Amine Gouiri are being lined up as alternative target if Newcastle can’t sign Ekitike.

Broja registered nine goals and one assist in 38 appearances for Southampton during a successful season-long loan spell last term and has been linked with a £30m switch to West Ham.

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Meanwhile, Gouiri racked up an impressive 22 goal contributions in 43 outings for Nice, helping them to a fifth-placed finish in Ligue 1.

With Broja just 20 and Gouiri 22, the duo are of a very similar profile to Ekitike, and Newcastle could be prepared to switch their focus onto them in the coming days.

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