Newcastle United now in talks on three signings – Trying to complete before window officially opens : Report
It is still seven days until the summer transfer window officially opens for Newcastle United and the other 19 Premier League clubs.
However, there have already been a number of clubs active in the transfer market, including Aston Villa, Leeds and Liverpool.
Within hours of the 2021/22 Premier League season ending, both Liverpool and Villa announced new signings. Indeed, Steven Gerrard has already completed three permanent deals in these twelve days since last season ended. Transfer deals can be agreed and signed off by clubs now, then once the window opens they will be officially registered via the relevant governing bodies.
Newcastle United are clearly also hoping to get business done early, which is little surprise when it is only four weeks today that the NUFC first team squad report back for pre-season preparations.
With The Mail revealing that Newcastle are currently in talks with three different players, hoping to get them signed off ASAP ahead of the transfer window opening officially next Friday. Mike Ashley repeatedly refused to allow Newcastle United to move for transfer targets early in the summer, meaning that countless potential signings went elsewhere. Rafa Benitez for one, said that this refusal by Ashley to allow early moves for targets, was an even bigger problem than the transfer budge allowed, when it came to getting the best possible quality signings in.
The Mail name Hugo Ekitike as one of the three potential signings that Newcastle United are trying to get signed off.
They say that the 19 year old striker has indicated that he wants to join Newcastle ahead of interest from Borussia Dortmund and is now expected to shortly sign a five year contract. They say that talks are ongoing with the clubs now only left needing to ‘iron out the structure of the final fee plus add-ons and agents fees.’
The newspaper puts the total transfer fee (initial fee and add-ons) at around £36m, whilst the French media have widely reported what has been agreed as around £39m – with £30.5m initial fee and £8.5m add-ons.
The good news is that whatever the varying claims are on the size of a transfer fee, that fee has already been agreed by Reims and Newcastle. In an interview published in France yesterday (Thursday), the Reims President Jean-Pierre Caillot when speaking to France Bleu, confirmed that the Ligue 1 club had accepted an offer for Hugo Ekitike and were very happy with the deal. Caillot adding that it was now in the hands of the player and his agents to get the rest of the deal sorted, which fits in with what The Mail have reported. Obviously still a chance that Hugo Ekitike could still say no but clearly Newcastle United appear to have done everything they possibly could and progressed the deal already to the point where it simply needs Ekitike to say yes. Newcastle then hopefully set to announce the signing of a player that they have worked on for the past six months.
Another possible deal that has long been in the public domain is that of Sven Botman (pictured above).
Newcastle United made repeated attempts to buy the 22 year old central defender but Lille were determined to hold onto him until this summer, as they had reached the knockout stage of the Champions League.
The Mail say that now Newcastle are finally hoping to complete that Sven Botman deal and as with Hugo Ekitike, end a six month chase. The newspaper saying talks are ongoing with the Dutch defender and his representatives.
On this deal there is also confirmation that Newcastle United are definitely trying to buy the Lille defender.
Sven Botman talking to Algemeen Dagblad over in Holland and confirming that he has almost certainly played his last game for Lille and now wants to make the right move ASAP in order to get stuck into the pre-season with his new teammates, Botman confirming that both Newcastle United and AC Milan are trying to sign him…
“What if the last league match was also my last match with Lille? I don’t know, but I think so. The intention is to take a step forward. I hope the transfer is completed soon, preferably in time for the pre-season preparations.
“Milan and Newcastle are interested but I can’t and I don’t want more. What I want is to step forward and play a good competition, I can’t wait. But it’s not just the club or the competition that decides, I have to have very good feelings about it too.”
Just like Hugo Ekitike, I think it definitely looks with this one as well, that Newcastle United have put a lot of effort in to try and make this one happen, a process that started in January (if not before) and obviously now trying to get it signed off ASAP, both to head off the competition and get the player in early so he has the maximum time possible to prepare for the new season as part of the squad. You imagine that as with Ekitike, Newcastle are very willing to pay the going rate for the 22 year old defender on both transfer fee and wages, so just really up to Sven Botman himself as to where he wants to go.
The third signing that The Mail state Newcastle United are actively in talks with, is surely the most straightforward of the the trio, if indeed Eddie Howe and the NUFC owners definitely want it to happen.
Matt Targett has been outstanding since arriving in January and the report says that Newcastle now in talks with Villa to make that loan deal permanent. The figure widely quoted for a permanent Targett deal has been £15m and the only obstacle to the transfer happening, has seemingly been Eddie Howe and his recruitment team considering whether a more attacking left-back option is needed. The Villa loan player looks decent to me going forward and most importantly has looked excellent when defending. I think for the overwhelming majority of Newcastle fans, the thought of having a defence including the likes of Trippier, Targett, Burn, Botman, Schar etc is an enticing one for next season. Nothing better than seeing players up close on a regular basis and arguably Burn and Targett were the best two NUFC players in those final four months of the season. The final 20 Premier League games saw two bad away days at Spurs and Man City BUT the other 18 saw only 12 goals conceded, with Targett and Burn helping Eddie Howe to absolutely reinvent a Newcastle United defence that had been reduced to an ever worsening disaster by Steve Bruce.
It could be an interesting week ahead before that transfer window officially opens next Friday.
I am not going to be making any grand predictions BUT one thing I do think is absolutely certain, is that this new look Newcastle United regime, owners and Eddie Howe and his recruitment team, are not messing around and are looking to add the best possible players to an existing NUFC squad who picked up more points in the final 19 PL games of last season than any other club, with the exception of Man City and Liverpool.