Newcastle are edging closer to a deal to sign Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, according to reports.
The move would represent a huge blow to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, who have all been linked with a move for the youngster.
The two London clubs have been reportedly interested as they both look to shake up their attacking ranks. The Gunners struggled throughout the last campaign to find a consistent goal scoring threat, especially at centre-forward.
With Alexandre Lacazette set to leave as a free agent, Mikel Arteta ’s priority is said to be on a striker. On the search this summer, the Spaniard said: “He puts the ball in the net – that’s priority number one. Goal threat. Any successful team needs enough goal threat in the squad. Without it, you have nothing.”
There is a similar problem for the Blues, who struggled to find the net, despite the club-record signing of Romelu Lukaku last summer. Thomas Tuchel could equally look to freshen up his ranks to find the goals once again.
Both had been linked with Reims youngster Ekitike, who managed 14 goal involvements in just 24 Ligue 1 appearances. The 19-year-old’s rise to notoriety has been likened to Kylian Mbappe, with some claiming he is the “next Kylian Mbappe”.
However, it may be an uphill battle to land him, as Fabrizio Romano reports that Premier League rivals Newcastle are nearing a deal to sign the 19-year-old on a five-year deal. The fee is believed to be roughly €35million (£30million) in total, which could be a bargain if he continues to develop.
It may mean that both clubs have to turn their attention elsewhere in their search for goals in the transfer market.