French outfit Reims have confirmed they have rejected Newcastle United’s offer to land star striker Hugo Ekitike, but 90min understands talks are continuing.
We exclusively revealed Newcastle’s bid for Ekitike earlier this month, and despite lengthy talks the deal could not be finalised.
The Magpies continued talks at the behest of manager Eddie Howe and sources have told 90min that negotiations over a deal are continuing as the valuations are not massively different.
Newcastle made an offer of €35m (£29m) but the overall deal contained clauses and bonuses – such as winning the Champions League – that Reims deemed unreasonable.
Newcastle are still open to a deal for the 19-year-old, who was the top-scoring teenager in Europe’s top leagues in the opening half of the season, but as it stands Ekitike won’t be moving.
Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot explained to Le Quotidien du Sport the current situation with Ekitike, and that as things stands they can’t accept Newcastle’s offer.
Caillot explained: “It is true that many [clubs] are now realising the qualities of the player, but not us, he has trained so well for us and it is not a surprise.
“Newcastle positioned themselves for a deal and we talked, but their proposal did not suit us as we don’t necessarily want to sell him and that is why we set to the asking price (€40m) quite high.
“They did make us an offer worth €35m (£29m) in total, but it was with many bonuses and some of which were almost impossible to achieve – such as winning the Champions League. We want €30m fixed plus €10 million in reasonable bonuses.”
Newcastle remain keen on Ekitike, who would like to make the move to St James’ Park, and they clearly know the price-tag to secure his services.
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