Journalist and Ligue 1 expert Jonathan Johnson has claimed that Paris Saint-Germain may also prepare a move for top Newcastle United target Hugo Ekitike this summer.
The 20-year-old wonderkid has been heavily linked with a move to Tyneside over the past few months, and reports suggested that the Magpies had already agreed a deal with Reims worth an initial €30m (£25.8m) to sign the talented forward.
The move was at a similar stage late in the January transfer window before Ekitike opted to wait until the summer to decide his future.
The Frenchman is viewed as a long-term target for the Toon and also someone who can compete with Callum Wilson for a starting spot this season.
However, Johnson has indicated that because of the player’s remarkable potential and showings in the French league, champions Paris Saint-Germain will also be hot on his trail and are preparing a move for the striker.
Speaking on the Toon Under Podcast, he said: “It’s my understanding that Ekitike, despite knowing that he has this offer from Newcastle and from the Premier League, he has interest across Europe as well.
“And the possibility that PSG might come and take a look at him as well, I think has prompted him to want to take his time a little bit. Reims don’t have any budgetary concerns either in the season just gone or the one coming up. They know that at some point there is going to be a major windfall from such a young talent.”
TIF thoughts on Ekitike…
It could well come as a huge blow to Newcastle United if Paris Saint-Germain do indeed join them in a bidding war for the incredibly gifted 20-year-old.
Because of the pull of the French champions, the opportunity to play in the Champions League alongside the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi and remaining in his own nation, we believe the £25.2m-rated wonderkid would choose the French giants over the Magpies.
Journalist Lee Davey, who also covers the French top-flight, previously billed the Reims-born hitman as “a hell of a player” and reckons he “could be one of the signings of the summer”.
Considering the amount of time the Toon have spent chasing the deal, it will come as a massive opportunity missed for Eddie Howe and the Newcastle owners.