Transfers

Brentford & Brighton lodge rival bids for Newcastle target Hugo Ekitike

Ekitike has emerged as a target for a number of Premier League clubs
Ekitike has emerged as a target for a number of Premier League clubs / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages
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Exclusive - Brentford and Brighton have lodged rival bids for young Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, but Newcastle remain favourites to land him, 90min understands.

It was revealed on Monday that the Magpies were in advanced talks over a deal worth just shy of £30m for the 19-year-old Frenchman, who is the highest scoring teenager in Europe's top five leagues this season with eight goals in 17 Ligue 1 games.

However, 90min has been informed that Newcastle's Premier League rivals Brentford and Brighton - who have two of the best scouting set-ups in English football - have entered the fray with rival bids.

Both clubs have made offers in excess of £20m for Ekitike - well below the Tynesiders' bid but including substantial add-ons.

Although that fresh competition has complicated the situation somewhat, 90min understands Newcastle remain in advanced talks for the striker. The club believe they are close to finalising an agreement to take the teenager to St. James' Park, with the player himself keen on the move.

Magpies head coach Eddie Howe wants the deal for Ekitike to be completed before Saturday's Premier League clash with Watford.

90min reported earlier in the week that Newcastle were targeting the signing of two forwards in January due to Callum Wilson's eight-week injury layoff, and they are now close to landing a player who has caught the eye in Ligue 1 with a number of standout displays.

West Ham are another Premier League side to have been linked with the young centre-forward as they look for back-up for Michail Antonio. However, it is believed the Hammers are not in the running having only made an enquiry over what would have been an initial loan.

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