(Reuters) – Newcastle United are hopeful of signing striker Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad in time for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, manager Eddie Howe said.
British media reported Newcastle will pay a club-record 60 million pounds ($70.99 million) to sign the 22-year-old, who becomes their fourth major signing since the close season after Nick Pope, Matt Targett and Sven Botman.
“It (the deal) is not completed. We hope to get it done,” Howe told reporters on Friday. “Yes, fingers crossed (he can play on Sunday). There’s no guarantee with these things because those are in other people’s hands, but hopefully.
“He will probably need to train with us in the next two days to be available to play… we’re very keen to see him get involved as quickly as possible.”
Isak has become a permanent fixture in Sweden’s front line, playing 37 times for his country and scoring nine goals since his debut in 2017. At Real, he scored 44 goals in 132 appearances.
“He’s had a lot thrown at him for a young player… The English game will suit his profile,” Howe added. “Technically very good and I think he has a host of things going for him. His best years are ahead of him.”
Howe said that the club’s search for attacking players became more urgent following Callum Wilson’s hamstring injury, which will likely keep him out for a couple of weeks.
“I think we reacted slightly off that, we were always looking for an attacking player but it changed our focus slightly on the type. But we’re delighted to hopefully sign Alex,” he said.
Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Howe said there had been talks between the clubs.
“… In terms of an actual final outcome, I’m very reluctant to lose any important players to the group, so that’s a decision that will be out of my hands,” he said.
Newcastle are sixth in the league on five points after three games.
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(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)