Premier League club set to beat West Ham to signing of £28m star Newcastle United 'really liked'

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The latest transfer speculation from Newcastle United as the Magpies await their first move of the January transfer window.

Brentford are reportedly set to see off competition from West Ham United and Crystal Palace to sign former Newcastle United transfer target Hugo Ekitike.

During his time with Reims, the young forward was set to fly to Tyneside to put the finishing touches to a permanent deal to join the Magpies in the early hours of the final day of the January transfer window in 2021. However, citing a sense of loyalty to his then employers and United’s perilous situation in the battle against relegation as reasons for his decision, Ekitike opted to remain with Reims for the remainder of the season.

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Despite their disappointment over missing out on what was viewed as a key signing, Newcastle revisited their interest in Ekitike at the end of the season and were left frustrated once again as the forward hesitated in agreeing to join the Magpies when a deal seemed to be edging closer. The France Under-21 star did leave Reims but it was to join PSG on a season-long loan that became a permanent switch to the Parc des Princes during the summer.

Speaking after Ekitike joined the Ligue 1 champions, Magpies manager Eddie Howe opened up on the attempts to land the youngster, saying: "It’s no secret that we really liked Hugo and we worked hard to try and do that deal. He’s a very talented lad and he decided to go to PSG. I have no hard feelings toward him and wish him well in the next phase of his career. I really do wish him luck. But it is an example of the types of clubs we’re competing with to try and improve our squad."

There had been some suggestions Newcastle would make a third attempt to finally land Ekitike during the current transfer window - although they have been dismissed by United insiders. West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace have also been linked with a move for the 21-year-old after he struggled to make an impact at PSG over the last 18 months - but it now looks as if another Premier League club are set to complete a move for Ekitike.

French outlet RMC have reported Brentford have made an offer for the forward that would see him join Thomas Frank’s side on loan until the end of the season with an option to convert the deal into a permanent switch during the summer.

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