Newcastle agree initial £25.6m deal to buy striker Hugo Ekitike from Reims | Newcastle United

Newcastle are closing in on the signing of the striker Hugo Ekitike after Reims accepted an offer of €30m (£25.6m) plus up to €5m in add-ons. A deal for a player they first targeted in January will go through if Ekitike gives final approval to the five-year contract on offer. He has indicated a willingness to accept the terms.

Borussia Dortmund are also keen on Ekitike, who turns 20 this month, after selling Erling Haaland to Manchester City but Newcastle have been pushing to close a deal for months.

Ekitike scored 10 times in 24 Ligue 1 appearances in the 2021-22 season, but a hamstring injury ruled him out from late February until early May. The France Under-20 international was reluctant to leave Reims in January, when Newcastle were ready to fly him to Tyneside on deadline day.

Antonio Rüdiger has described himself as “proud” after Real Madrid confirmed he was joining on a four-year deal. The defender’s Chelsea contract expires at the end of this month and his move to the Bernabéu was agreed weeks ago. “I’m super excited for all the challenges ahead and can’t wait to play my first games for this huge club,” the 29-year-old wrote on Instagram.

Lyon are hopeful of sealing a deal for Alexandre Lacazette, whose contract at Arsenal is about to end. The striker has told Arsenal about the offer. He was born in Lyon and spent his career there before moving to the Premier League club in 2017.

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Leeds are close to buying the right-back Rasmus Kristensen from RB Salzburg after making a €10m bid. Jesse Marsch worked with the Denmark international at Salzburg and Kristensen would be the second player signed by the Leeds manager from the Austrian club this summer, after Brenden Aaronson.

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