Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Stade Reims centre-forward Hugo Ekitike.
Stade Reims’ president Jean-Pierre Caillot has confirmed that 19-year-old attacker Hugo Ekitike will be allowed to leave the club this summer. The French starlet is being courted by the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. The three Premier League heavyweights have thus been handed a major boost in their pursuit of the defender following Caillot’s comments.
The Reims president also revealed that the club received an offer worth €35 million for the young striker in January, which was swiftly turned down. But in case a similar offer arrives this summer, Ekitike will be allowed to leave.
Reims, who are currently 13th in the Ligue 1 table, could bolster their squad with the transfer fees earned by Ekitike’s sale, with Caillot stressing that there were quite a few ‘big’ clubs interested in signing the French striker.
Caillot told Europe 1, “In Hugo’s case, he would waste time staying with us. We refused an offer of €35 million (£29m/$37m) this winter, which is a lot of money for a club like ours. That money will be used to grow and improve the club. Hugo will be allowed to go, and he’s probably going to leave. There wasn’t a big club that didn’t inquire for him.”
🇨🇵🇨🇿 The top candidates to succeed Erling Haaland are Hugo Ekitike of Stade Reims and Adam Hlozek of Sparta Prague.
— BVB Newsblog (@bvbnewsblog) April 25, 2022
Ekitike has displayed fine form in his first full season with Stade Reims, scoring 10 goals in 25 matches across competitions. The young striker’s exploits in the French top-flight have not gone unnoticed either, with top European clubs interested in securing his signature.
All three of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are on the lookout for striking options. While Ekitike will not slot into their respective first teams straightaway, he can be groomed to eventually lead the line at any of the three clubs.
The 19-year-old was especially impressive in the first half of the season, scoring eight league goals. But a hamstring injury slowed his progress, and he has been out of action since February. It remains to be seen which of the Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United can manage to land the young striker this summer.