Transfer News: Manchester United to battle several other clubs for Reims striker Hugo Ekitike in the summer
According to ESPN (h/t Express), Manchester United are prepared to battle several other clubs to secure the signature of Reims striker Hugo Ekitike in the upcoming summer transfer window as they look to bolster their attack.
The teenager has been enjoying a standout season in France, pitching in with goals whenever called upon. He has shown maturity beyond his age, leading the line effectively for his club as the Ligue 1 campaign comes to an end.
However, the Red Devils will not have it easy as they look to snap up the forward in the coming weeks. Clubs like Bayern Munich, Arsenal, and Newcastle United are also keen on adding the starlet to their squad to boost their attacking ranks.
In fact, Newcastle had already agreed on a transfer deal for the 19-year-old on deadline day during the winter transfer window in January. Unfortunately for the Magpies, the Frenchman snubbed a move to Tyneside and chose to remain in France until the end of the season.
Approach made for teenage sensation
United are expected to undergo a massive squad rebuild in the summer, coinciding with the arrival of new manager Erik ten Hag from Ajax Amsterdam. The Dutchman will be given the power to take decisions on new transfers, having a veto over proposals. Aside from being given a list of targets that the club have identified, he will also be able to suggest his own potential options.
Earlier in the season, the side’s incumbent boss Ralf Rangnick claimed that the English giants need two new strikers and also needed to target rising stars rather than established names. Given this background, Ekitike would prove to be the ideal signing in the summer. It is said that the Red Devils have made an approach for the player by contacting his representatives, with starlet expected to cost around £13m.
The situation at the Theatre of Dreams has been dire this term, with the side unable to add goals to their performances on the pitch, which has seen them lie in sixth position in the Premier League table. The club arguably have the biggest names in terms of attacking potential in the top-flight but has been unable to get the best out of them.
Edinson Cavani has remained injured on the sidelines for the majority of the campaign, while Marcus Rashford has been severely underwhelming for his boyhood club when given an opportunity. The only bright spark in the season has been Cristiano Ronaldo, who was re-signed for the team last summer.
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However, at 37, there is no guarantee of how long he will last at the top and continue to lead the line. A younger replacement is needed ahead of the new season, and Ekitike is a smart choice. There may be competition to snap up the youngster, but United may push for him ahead of others given their necessity for a striker.
If they do end up securing his services in the summer, it will be curious to see whether ten Hag will utilise the Frenchman as the club’s leading striker, or look to develop him over time. The jump from Ligue 1 to the Premier League is not an easy transition for some players to make, and it is rarely easy for a player – let alone a teenager – to adapt so quickly to such a change.