Newcastle United target Joao Pedro – Watford boss update on his ‘injury’ situation
Joao Pedro was missing from the Watford matchday squad on Saturday.
The team to play away at Preston announced at 2pm yesterday and then swiftly followed by Watford putting out a message on social media stating ‘Joao Pedro misses out with a minor calf injury’…
Fair to say that both neutrals and Watford fans overwhelmingly reacted in a similar way, finding it difficult to believe that an ‘injury’ was suddenly preventing the 20 year old striker playing. The mood of the Watford supporters not improved when their team failed to score with Joao Pedro missing, having to settle for a goalless draw at Preston.
The sceptical reaction to the official Watford line was due to the fact that Newcastle United have put in some serious bids ahead of the weekend. With Hornets fans and neutrals believing that the club are simply protecting their player / asset from injury, with a big money move seemingly imminent.
Newcastle United widely reported to have made an opening bid of £20m, a combination of £17m guaranteed transfer fee plus £3m of potential future add-ons, that bid rejected early this past week by Watford.
Then later in the week, more widespread reports updated on the situation, claiming that Newcastle had upped their offer for Joao Pedro to a £25m package, a guaranteed £22m plus £3m future add-ons. Some journalists claimed that this second bid had also been rejected, although others reported no news so far on any Watford decision on it…
Ahead of Saturday’s Preston game (and ahead of that second Newcastle bid) Watford Head Coach Rob Edwards went public about Newcastle’s chase for Joao Pedro.
Edwards admitted that whilst the opening Newcastle United bid had been knocked back, any increased offers would be considered by himself and the Watford board.
At his Watford press conference (ahead of facing Preston at the weekend) Rob Edwards talking about Newcastle’s interest in signing Joao Pedro and their opening bid – Thursday 18 August 2022:
“There has a been a (Newcastle United) bid in for Joao Pedro that has been talked about.
“It was not anywhere near the level that we would expect it to be for him…
“…but I’m involved in that conversation and if anything else (a higher bid from Newcastle United or any other club) was to come in again, we will sit down and talk about it as a club and as a board.”
Seemingly an acceptance from the Watford head coach, on behalf of the club, that this transfer could well happen, if Newcastle are willing to compromise and come closer to the Watford valuation.
Now following Saturday’s match and the speculation sparked by Watford’s claims of a ‘minor injury’ for Joao Pedro, Watford boss Rob Edwards has once again spoken about the Newcastle United interest / bids, as well as the ‘injury’…Adam Leventhal of The Athletic reporting on what Edwards had to say:
“We had to change the team in the morning.
“He felt his calf and he was doing it against Birmingham if you actually watch the game back there’s quite a lot of times when he’s limping.
“He wasn’t fully confident on it.
“We had it scanned and it’s a minor tear on the calf.
“It won’t be too long but he was he wasn’t fit to play the game.
“It’s been a difficult week because you constantly get asked the questions.
“There is obviously interest we know that and not shying or hiding away from that, we knew that was going to be the case.
“It’s just the fact that those two (Joao Pedro and Ismaila Sarr) have little niggles makes it look worse.
“People are going to say what they want to say but we know the truth, so it’s fine.”
The transfer window closes in eleven days times and Newcastle United now look to be pushing strongly for this Joao Pedro deal to happen.
Regardless as to whether any ‘injury’ actually exists or not, I am thinking it is looking very likely NUFC will be signing him, assuming the 20 year old striker is keen to join his compatriots Joelinton and Bruno G in the Premier League.
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