The Premier League 'big six’ were among the clubs who were in France watching Hugo Ekitike continue his brilliant form for Stade Reims this weekend, 90min understands.
The 19-year-old was a January target for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United, and they made a number of offers.
After failing to agree a deal midway through the window, Newcastle reignited their interest at the end of the month – but Ekitike was unsure about moving on deadline day.
The youngster remained with Reims, and he was in excellent form as his side played their first game since the window closed – inspiring a 5-0 win over Bordeaux.
Ekitike opened the scoring by converting his own failed penalty after he won the spot-kick, setting the Ligue 1 side up for a dominant victory.
90min has been told that more than a dozen clubs were in attendance at the Stade Auguste Delaune to see one of Europe’s top prospects.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea were all represented in some capacity, while West Ham, Leicester and, not surprisingly, Newcastle were also there.
It is also believed Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Porto, Benfica and French rivals Paris Saint Germain and Lyon took the opportunity to cast an eye over Ekitike. All the clubs, including the English, were already aware of the player.
Ekitike is the top-scoring teenager in Europe’s top five leagues and his form shows no signs of dropping off.
From 12 starts he has nine goals and two assists for Reims, and it is now believed he has an outside chance of making France’s World Cup squad, having previously been called up to the Under-20 side last year.