Newcastle United are “genuinely interested” in a player they have scouted extensively in the last 12 months, according to a fresh claim from journalist Dean Jones.
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The Magpies are likely to make new signings in the January transfer window, with midfield an area of focus after the 10-month ban handed to Sandro Tonali for breaching betting rules.
Plenty of central players have been seen as transfer targets in recent times, although Manchester City and England ace Kalvin Phillips has arguably emerged as Newcastle’s primary option to come in and boost their Premier League top four hopes.
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Away from the midfield, though, it could also be that Eddie Howe looks to acquire the services of another striker, with both Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak in and out of the team through injury this season. VfB Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy has been linked with a move to St James’ Park, as he enjoys a stunning season that has seen him score 15 goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances so far this season.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain attacker Hugo Ekitike is another who has been mooted as a Newcastle target, with a lack of game time coming his way at the Ligue 1 giants currently.
Newcastle “genuinely interested” in Hugo Ekitike
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jones talked up Newcastle’s interest in Ekitike, claiming that the Magpies have scouted him heavily in recent times.
“The situation around Ekitike is interesting because Newcastle still genuinely interested him. They had a long-standing interest in him previously, and I don’t think the fact that he didn’t choose them last time around will especially go against him or anything if they choose to pursue this avenue.
“I think that there is a concern at Newcastle about being left short in attack in the new year, and I think that they’re starting to look towards ways that they could reinvent that attack or at least bolster it up. Since Ekitike is not getting game time at PSG, he’s emerging as a player they’ve got well-sourced reports on in scouting.”
Ekitike isn’t necessarily the finished article as a player right now, considering he is still only 21 years of age, but he is someone who could provide great competition for Wilson and Isak, and be seen as a long-term replacement for the former, who is now in his 30s.
The Frenchman has found it difficult to make his mark at PSG in recent years – no great surprise, considering he had Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar ahead of him in the pecking order last season and now Goncalo Ramos – but the Newcastle transfer target has still managed four goals and assists apiece in 33 appearances overall.
Ekitike’s former manager Oscar Garcia has said that there is “something very special about him” in the past, and there is no reason why he couldn’t blossom into a formidable player under Howe, enjoying a new lease of life away from his current club.