NEWCASTLE have been joined by Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, according to reports.
They kicked off what is set to be a busy window by making Matt Targett’s loan deal permanent.
According to French outlet L’Equipe, Newcastle have already made a significant offer for the 20-year-old.
And reports have suggested that Reims have accepted the deal, which is said to be worth around £36m.
Borussia Dortmund have also expressed an interest over the past few months, but they are now looking at alternative options.
Ekitike snubbed an offer from Newcastle in January to stay in France until the end of the 2021-22 season, but he is claimed to be very impressed with the club’s persistence and is now likely to reject a move elsewhere.
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The Magpies are also close to signing Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Pope suffered relegation with the Clarets last season but Howe is keen to bring him back to the Premier League in a £10m deal.
Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly is another potential transfer target that is being considered by Newcastle.
The Red Devils could make the defender available for just £8.5m.