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Newcastle in talks to sign Joao Pedro from Watford

An update has emerged regarding Newcastle United‘s pursuit of Watford’s Joao Pedro in the summer transfer window… 

What’s the talk?

Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Dan Ashworth is still trying to land a Magpies deal to sign the Brazilian centre-forward before next month’s deadline, despite failing with two bids so far.

He tweeted on Thursday evening: “Newcastle are still in negotiations for João Pedro despite second bid being turned down by Watford tonight. It’s not over, yet – talks ongoing. #NUFC Today’s bid was worth £22m plus £3m in add-ons but Newcastle will try to push again.”

This came after he reported the offer earlier in the day, tweeting: “Excl: Newcastle have submitted new bid today for João Pedro. £22m fee plus £3m add-ons, while Watford are asking for £30m total fee. Talks on. #NUFC João, keen on the move – he wants Premier League football again.”

Forget about Chris Wood

The club pushing to sign a new striker could mean that – after just eight months – it could be time to forget about Chris Wood. 

He was brought in from Burnley in January to bolster the striking options on Tyneside and fill in for Callum Wilson whilst the Englishman was out injured.

However, he has been unable to prove his worth so far as he has struggled in the Premier League. Since arriving at St James’ Park, Wood has played 19 top-flight matches and scored two goals for the Magpies, only one from open play.

Eddie Howe wanted to turn Newcastle into a pressing team and Wood is distinctly average at that part of the game. Over the last 365 days, he ranks in the 54th percentile amongst players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues for pressures applied per 90 at 15.25.

Meanwhile, Pedro ranks in the 84th percentile with 18.45 pressures per 90, which suggests that he could better suit Howe’s style of play – particularly off the ball – than Wood by putting more pressure on opposition defenders.

His pressing led to him making 2.24 tackles and interceptions and 1.53 blocks per 90, compared to the New Zealand international’s 0.69 and 0.83 in those respective statistics.

This shows that the 2o-year-old offers far more to the team out of possession than Wood, whilst his tally of three goals in 15 Premier League starts suggests that he could provide a similar goal threat.

Furthermore, the Watford dynamo is also 10 years younger than Wood, so he would come in as a long-term investment as he could grow and improve over time, whereas the former Clarets marksman is in the latter stages of his career.

Therefore, it is time to forget about the January arrival, as the prospective signing of Pedro – who was once dubbed “interesting” by scout Jacek Kulig – should limit Wood’s chances for the rest of the campaign, sitting behind Wilson and the Brazilian in the Magpies’ pecking order.