Newcastle are ready to abandon the transfer of Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike as clubs charge a ‘toon tax’ to the Saudi Magpies.

NEWCASTLE are increasingly frustrated in pursuit of top targets Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike.

Officials believe clubs are levying the same ‘toon tax’ on the mega-rich Saudi Magpies as they did during the January transfer window.

Newcastle believe Lille's Sven Botman wants to join them

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Newcastle believe Lille’s Sven Botman wants to join themPhoto credit: Getty
They say they are weighed down over the odds for him - and Reims star Hugo Ekitike

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They say they are weighed down over the odds for him – and Reims star Hugo EkitikePhoto credit: Getty

Despite reports in Italy that Lille centre-back Botman, 22, is awaiting a move to AC Milan, Newcastle insist he is keen to join Tyneside.

But the Mags are willing to walk away and focus on other goals.

That was after the French club increased their asking price from £26m to £35m.

Transfer guru Dan Ashworth is determined not to overpay.

And he retains an interest in Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka and Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly.

A fee of around £30m for teenage striker Ekitike has been agreed with Reims.

Newcastle have been chasing the France U20 star – and Botman – since January and remain confident of securing his arrival this week.

However, agent fees have yet to be determined as Toon fears the 19-year-old’s representatives are waiting for the other Borussia Dortmund admirers to make a move.

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Newcastle are also set to make a move for young Kilmarnock defender Charlie McArthur.

The highly rated Scot, 17, made his pro debut for Killie last season.

He was previously targeted by Ashworth as Technical Director at Brighton.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5569858/newcastle-sven-botman-hugo-ekitike-transfer-tax/ Newcastle are ready to abandon the transfer of Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike as clubs charge a ‘toon tax’ to the Saudi Magpies.

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