Newcastle 'resigned' to missing out on £30m star at St James' Park

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe looking into the distance

Newcastle United have been left ‘disappointed’ and are ‘resigned’ to missing out on being able to tempt Reims striker Hugo Ekitike to St James’ Park, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The Magpies failed to sign Ekitike when he opted to stay in France on deadline day of the January transfer window, but that did not stop the Premier League side looking to force through a move this summer.

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What’s the latest news involving Ekitike?

Having been appointed as Newcastle’s sporting director earlier this month, Dan Ashworth was quickly given the responsibility of attempting to lure Ekitike to Tyneside.

Ashworth is understood to have been locked in talks with Ekitike’s agent Karl Mwalako Buchmann.

However, it first appeared Newcastle had lost patience and walked away from the negotiating table when 90min claimed the Magpies had refused to part with additional agent payments.

The deal now appears to be off the table after Mail journalist Craig Hope revealed demands made by Ekitike’s representatives were ‘ridiculous’ and, as a result, the Tynesiders have moved onto alternative targets.

It is understood that Ekitike would have set Newcastle back close to £30million, including add-ons, had the move gone through.

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What has Alex Crook said about Ekitike?

Crook believes Newcastle have failed in their pursuit of Ekitike, with the frontman’s agent looking to seal a move to a Champions League club for his client.

The talkSPORT reporter has sympathy for the Magpies after their prolonged interest and discussions did not pay off.

Crook told GIVEMESPORT: “I sense that his agent is holding out for a bigger club, maybe a Champions League club.

“I think Newcastle are resigned to that maybe not happening. They’d like to make it happen, but I think the longer it drags on, the less likely he is to come.

“That’s disappointing for Newcastle because they’ve put a heck of a lot of work in since January.”

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Should Newcastle have turned their attentions elsewhere sooner?

Newcastle are the world’s richest football club, thanks to a £305million takeover led by the Saudi Arabia-based Public Investment Fund last October, meaning they could quite easily have focused on other targets.

But Eddie Howe, who was appointed as the Magpies’ head coach a month on from the change of ownership, is clearly a big fan of Ekitike and that was emphasised by him returning for the striker after being left frustrated in January.

Ekitike is also wanted by Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, potentially complicating matters further, but Newcastle were unrelenting in their pursuit.

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