Newcastle have bid of £25m, rising to £33m, accepted for France U20 forward Hugo Ekitike who is weighing up a move to St James' Park; Newcastle close to sealing loan deal for Aston Villa's Matt Targett; Dan Burn to undergo medical ahead of move from Brighton
Monday 31 January 2022 16:29, UK
Hugo Ekitike is set to make a decision on a Deadline Day move to Newcastle, which could mean the club instead looks to secure a deal for Jesse Lingard.
The Magpies' bid of £25m, rising to £33m, for Ekitike was accepted by the French club on Monday.
Sky Sports News has been told the teenager is talking to those closest to him ahead of a potentially life-changing decision.
Newcastle may look elsewhere if Ekitike decides against the move, with the club still pushing for Manchester United forward Lingard, who has been a target throughout January and could make a loan switch.
France U20 forward Ekitike was also being tracked by West Ham. Newcastle initially opened talks with Reims to sign Ekitike earlier this month prior to signing Chris Wood from Burnley.
Ekitike made his debut for Reims in August and has scored eight goals in 18 Ligue 1 appearances this season, registering three assists. The 19-year-old can also play on the left wing.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are closing in on a loan deal for Targett. Eddie Howe is keen to add another left-back, and Targett has fallen out of favour under Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.
The two clubs are close to an agreement that will see the 26-year-old join until the summer.
Targett is keen on the move, and the talks are now focused on the option for Newcastle to buy the left-back in the summer.
The St James' Park club are also on the verge of signing Brighton defender Dan Burn, who is set to travel to the North East to undergo a medical. Newcastle have had an offer of around £13m for Burn accepted by Brighton - after an earlier bid of £10m plus add-ons was rejected on Saturday.
The Magpies have wanted to sign a left-footed centre-back all window to partner Jamaal Lascelles.
Burn has entered the final 18 months of his Brighton contract. The 29-year-old, who joined Brighton from Wigan in 2018, can also play left-back. The Seagulls are extremely unlikely to sign a replacement centre-back this window.
Newcastle completed the signing of midfielder Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon for £40m on Sunday.
Guimaraes, 24, completed a medical in Brazil on Friday ahead of signing a contract until 2026.
Newcastle agreed a package of £33.3m plus around £6.5m in add-ons with French club Lyon to make the midfielder their third signing this January, following the arrivals of Kieran Trippier and Wood.
The Magpies are spreading the payments over the next four years. They will pay Lyon around £3.25m if they stay up this season, with another £3.25m due if they stay up again next season.
There is no relegation release clause in the deal Newcastle have agreed with the player.
Newcastle head of recruitment Steve Nickson had travelled to Brazil to seal the signing of Guimaraes.
The midfielder will play for Brazil on Wednesday and will not be able to travel to the UK to meet his new team-mates and head coach Howe until Thursday at the earliest.
Arsenal were among a number of clubs interested in signing Guimaraes, who has also been watched closely by Manchester United and PSG.
Guimaraes, who has been capped three times at international level by Brazil, comes into his own when his attacking qualities are examined. Not limited to merely carrying out defensive midfield duties, he is as effective in the opposition half and attacking areas, if not more effective.
Guimaraes tops the ranking in Ligue 1 this season for passes completed in the opposition half and sits joint-top with Marseille's Dimitri Payet for passes completed in the final third.
For context, Paris Saint-Germain's attacking stars, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, rank fourth and fifth, respectively, for this metric.
The ability to find defence-splitting passes is illustrated by his high number of completed passes and chances created, while Guimaraes' fouls won, and touches statistics show there are few more effective carriers of the ball than the Brazilian currently playing in France.
When you combine Guimaraes' attacking and defensive qualities it's clear Newcastle have identified a midfielder with genuine box-to-box qualities, a rare find at the best of times, let alone during a notoriously difficult January window which could be the difference between Premier League safety and relegation.
The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday January 31?
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