Newcastle United

Hugo Ekitike: Newcastle set to finalise long-awaited transfer

Graeme Bailey
Hugo Ekitike's move to Newcastle is close to completion
Hugo Ekitike's move to Newcastle is close to completion / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages
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Newcastle United are closing in on the signing of French starlet Hugo Ekitike, 90min understands.

After revealing Newcastle's interest in Ekitike in January, 90min confirmed a €31m (£26m) deal was in place at the start of June and the hope is that the player will finalise his move to St James' Park this week.

Sources have told 90min that only a few 'minor' details need to be addressed before Ekitike can put pen to paper on a long-term contract which will be at least five years in length.

The 19-year-old's move was delayed while he took part in the Toulon Tournament and although he picked up a slight hamstring niggle, it will not have any impact on Newcastle completing the transfer - one that has been described to 90min as Financial Fair Play friendly as the club anticipate spending well in excess of £100m this summer.

Eddie Howe recognised Ekitike's talent before January and the club believe they are signing of one of Europe's best young prospects - indeed no teenager scored more than him in Europe's top five leagues last season.

Sven Botman
Sven Botman: A man in-demand / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Newcastle are also still on the trail of Dutch defender Sven Botman, but Serie A champions AC Milan are refusing to give up in their pursuit.

The Rossoneri agreed a deal for the 22-year-old earlier in the year worth £30m, but while they have finalised a move for Botman's Lille teammate Renato Sanches, his switch to San Siro has stalled.

Milan are still trying to push through the transfer but matters have been complicated by Newcastle's willingness to pay more money - in the region of £34m. The Magpies are, however, unsure about having to pay more money than their Italian counterparts and have warned Lille that they will walk away from the deal if necessary.

Sources close to Milan have told 90min of the belief that Botman wants to sign for them, having originally being persuaded to join by AC's legendary sporting director Paulo Maldini, and the player has told Lille and his agents that he wants his future finalised sooner rather than later.

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