According to journalist Ben Jacobs, Newcastle United have a real chance to sign Joao Pedro this summer – but insists the two clubs have work to do on the valuation of the player.
The biggest area of need for the Magpies this summer is a forward, and since they have failed to bring in top targets Hugo Ekitike and Armando Broja so far, they have turned their attention to Pedro, who was relegated with Watford last season.
Speaking earlier this week, Jacobs believes there is a ‘very real chance’ they can sign the player, but Newcastle will need to agree on a price, as Newcastle were thought to have valued him at under £20m, while Watford wanted around £23m.
Jacobs told NUFC Matters: “There’s a very real chance, too, that Newcastle United get Joao Pedro.
“There’s a bid been made that has been rejected – I believe, only a verbal bid, by the way. There’s often some confusion over this particular kind of bid. Because when it’s verbal, it can be denied by both the buyer and the seller.
“But my understanding is that Newcastle value the player under £20m, and from a Watford perspective, they want £20-23 million inclusive of add-ons. So there’s work to be done on that one, but again, there is very real interest. So there is a chance that Newcastle will pursue that deal.”
TIF Thoughts on Pedro to Newcastle…
It could be argued that Watford are now playing hardball over Joao Pedro, as reports emerged following Jacobs’ comments suggesting that a bid of £20m plus £3m in add-ons had been turned down by the Hornets, so perhaps these negotiations have a long way to go yet – with Newcastle said to be preparing a new bid.
While Newcastle need to bring in a younger striker for the future, we believe signing Pedro seems an act of desperation as a result of missing out on the likes of Ekitike and Broja. There is no doubt he has potential, but with just three goals and one assist in 28 Premier League games last season, he doesn’t appear to be the kind of signing that will help them finish in the top 10 or higher.
However, despite the fact Pedro has not been prolific in front of goal, he has shown that he is capable of shining among the best strikers in Europe on the defensive side of the ball, ranking in the 99th percentile for interceptions and in the 98th in blocks, as well as the 98th for dribbles completed and in the 85th for progressive carries per game (as per FBref).
There is no doubt Pedro, who was hailed as ‘craque’ (ace) by Claudio Ranieri, still has a lot of of time to develop as he is only 20 years of age, but spending over £20m on a player who has not proven himself to be among the top talents in England feels like a risky move.
Should Newcastle sign Pedro?