A journalist claims West Ham and not Newcastle are the only club to have bid for striker Hugo Ekitike who has been dubbed the ‘new Mbappe’.
West Ham boss David Moyes has admitted he wants to sign a striker and at least one defender during the transfer window.
And newly minted Newcastle are simply being linked with the world and its wife as Eddie Howe desperately tries to recruit players to keep the Magpies up.
Both West Ham and Newcastle are over reliant on one man for goals. At West Ham Michail Antonio is the only senior striker and he has carried the weight of goalscoring expectation ever since Sebastien Haller was sold to Ajax this time last year.
At Newcastle Callum Wilson is the only player capable of scoring goals regularly but he is out injured – again – for two months.
Moyes and Howe have been linked with a plethora of strikers this month. The latest being young Reims striker Hugo Ekitike.
The 19-year-old has been dubbed ‘the new Kylian Mbappe’ by many watching his rise in France.
That is some billing. But he has made a good start to living up to it in his debut season in the Reims first team.
So far in 17 games Ekitike has notched eight goals, laid on three assists and been man of the match on three occasions. That makes him the top scoring teenager across Europe this season.
West Ham not Newcastle are the only club to have bid for ‘new Mbappe’ Hugo Ekitike claims journalist
His lightning pace and cool finishing has earned him comparisons with Mbappe.
A host of reports yesterday claimed Newcastle were in talks with Reims over a deal for the exciting forward.
But West Ham NOT Newcastle are the only club to have submitted a bid for Ekitike and they are awaiting a response.
That’s according to Goal journalist Robin Bairner who made the claim, reported by Le10Sport, on Twitter last night.
“Newcastle ready to put in a bid for Reims striker Hugo Ekitike,” Bairner said on Twitter.
“Sky Sports reports it will be worth up to £30m. Here’s why I tipped him for a big move back in November.
“West Ham are the only club to have put in a bid for Hugo Ekitike, according to Le10Sport.
“Around €15m (£12.5m) was offered. No response yet.”
If Ekitike is allowed to leave Reims and has a straight choice between West Ham and Newcastle then one would think for sporting reasons alone the Hammers would be the obvious choice.
But Newcastle, with their Saudi billions, can probably offer the player a ridiculous financial package which in the long term will be self defeating.
Moyes has always stated he wants to build West Ham around young, talented, quick, hungry players. So Ekitike ticks all the boxes.
If the report of a £12.5m bid is true that seems highly unlikely to be accepted. Let’s just hope it is the opening gambit towards a deal. One would think there will be only one winner if West Ham get into a bidding war with Newcastle.
But with Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky on board at West Ham, the east Londoners are not short of money themselves.