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Newcastle has an initial £17m advance for Watford’s João Pedro rebuffed

The 20-year-old versatile Brazilian forward has become the first-choice number 9 at Vicarage Road, but Watford are reluctant to part ways after a string of forwards have left this summer

Newcastle has started the 2022-23 Premier League season where they left off last term, as the in-form Magpies have taken four points from a possible six while securing two clean sheets on the spin under Eddie Howe this season, but the recruitment drive on Tyneside is not yet finished after the club reportedly have targeted yet another young center forward this summer.

According to reports from Sky Sports northeast reporter Keith Downie citing Dharmesh Sheth, Newcastle has made an opening play for Watford’s Brazilian starlet João Pedro after tabling an opening £17m bid for the 20-year-old center-forward.

Thus far, the Magpies have been unsuccessful in their attempts to get the Hornets to sit down at the negotiating table for the former Fluminense academy graduate after the Vicarage Road outfit rebuffed Newcastle’s initial advance.

This comes in the wake of Watford already losing a host of attacking players this summer after both Joshua King and Andy Gray both secured free transfers, while Emmanuel Dennis just completed a £20m move to free-spending Nottingham Forest, and young striker Cucho Hernández jet-set off to MLS outfit Columbus Crew.

Watford did counter with deals for RSC Charleroi’s Vakoun Issouf Bayo, Barcelona’s Rey Manaj, and Aston Villa’s Keinan Davis, but Pedro remains the diamond in the rough up front for Watford boss Rob Edwards, with the club insisting he is not for sale this summer.

Newcastle’s struggle to secure a long-term option at center-forward continues to frustrate the squad-building efforts at St. James’ Park under Eddie Howe after the Magpies missed out on Hugo Ekitike and with no further movement on the possibility of a deal for Chelsea’s Armando Broja until the Blues source another forward via the market.

Both players already hitting the 30-year-old mark, while Wilson – though talented in his own right – seems to be perpetually injured, and should anything befall him again, it would leave Howe painfully short with genuine striker options after Joelinton has been successfully converted into a central midfielder.

With just about two weeks left in the transfer window, Newcastle will have to hope something materializes soon if they are to target one of their remaining weaknesses from last season.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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