Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe is urging the club’s new owners to continue with their ambitious January transfer plans, 90min understands.
Howe and Newcastle set out with plans to bring in half-a-dozen new faces this month, although they knew that task would not be easy.
They have secured the signings of Kieran Tripper and Chris Wood at a cost of around £40m, but the state of the squad is still someway off what Howe would like.
At least one more forward is wanted and Howe’s primary choice is Reims starlet Hugo Ekitike – one of Europe’s most highly-rated young strikers and who has been likened to Kylian Mbappe.
Having done their due diligence on him, Newcastle made an approach in early January and talks are continuing. The Magpies are in pole position but as yet no club has agreed to Reims’ terms – they are looking for a deal worth up to £30m.
Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham, Brighton and Brentford are among the other clubs keen on Ekitike, but Howe wants a deal done this month and talks are continuing with Reims.
Howe also wants a new centre-half and we have been told by sources close to Newcastle that they are confident of landing Sevilla’s Diego Carlos.
Newcastle have been in talks with the Spanish side since the beginning of January, but unlike their prospective deal for Lille’s Sven Botman, they remain hopeful of securing Carlos.
Newcastle put talks on hold until after this weekend’s Seville derby but now they are pushing to land the 28-year-old Brazilian, who has been offered fresh terms to stay in La Liga.
One big issue for Newcastle is that Sevilla are currently in second place in Spain’s top flight and are well in La Liga’s title race. Carlos and centre-back partner Jules Kounde – who remains one of Chelsea’s transfer priorities in 2022 – have been huge contributors to their success so far.
Carlos is understood to be open to moving to Newcastle as he could nearly triple his current wages.
Howe also wants to bolster his midfield options and the club do have loan options available to them – Juventus ace Aaron Ramsey has been offered to Newcastle.