Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has, on Sunday, provided his take on the club’s ultimately fruitless pursuit of Stade de Reims star Hugo Ekitike.
The name of attacking sensation Ekitike has of course taken its place front and centre in the headlines across the continent this summer.
This comes with the 20-year-old having been identified as a priority target on the part of a number of clubs, first and foremost Premier League outfit Newcastle United.
At one point, it even appeared as though a move to St. James’ Park was as good as done, with the newly-minted Magpies ready to splash out upwards of €30 million on Ekitike’s signature.
Hugo Ekitike deal. Newcastle and Reims have full agreement on €30m fee plus €5m add-ons, agent is now in talks with Newcastle after being given permission by Reims. ⭐️🇫🇷 #NUFC
Work in progress as Newcastle have been leading the race for weeks.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 4, 2022
In turn, it no doubt came as a blow for all associated with Newcastle upon word surfacing that the gifted starlet was stalling on a move to Tyneside, having set his sights on a move to one of European football’s giants.
The outfit in question? PSG.
And it did not take at all long for the French champions to take full advantage of this situation, tying up a long-term deal for Ekitike this weekend.
Paris Saint-Germain is pleased to announce the arrival of Hugo Ekitiké from Stade de Reims. ✍️
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) July 16, 2022
On the back of his side’s failed pursuit of the young attacker being made official, it therefore came as little surprise when the subject of Newcastle’s interest in Ekitike was put to none other than Eddie Howe earlier today.
The English tactician, though, was quick to assure that ‘no hard feelings’ exist on the part of the Magpies, despite all at the club being of the opinion that Ekitike ‘could have done a really good job’ at St. James’ Park:
Howe on Ekitike: “We really like Hugo but it wasn’t to be. He has decided to go to PSG, and there are no hard feelings towards the lad. We wish him well. We thought he was a real talent & could have done a really good job. They are the teams we are competing against.” #nufc
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) July 17, 2022
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