Chris Wood: Burnley striker to undergo medical at Newcastle who have met release clause of around £20m

by 24britishtvJan. 11, 2022, 8 p.m. 15
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Chris Wood is travelling to the North East to undergo a medical with Newcastle, who have met the striker's release clause in the region of £20m.

Newcastle have moved swiftly to replace top scorer Callum Wilson, who head coach Eddie Howe said would be out with a calf injury for two months after Saturday's shock FA Cup third-round defeat to Cambridge United.

Wood has been a key striker for relegation rivals Burnley, sitting just above Newcastle on goal difference in the bottom three, but the 30-year-old had a clause in his contract allowing him to leave Turf Moor if a specific fee is tabled.

The New Zealand international, with three goals for Burnley this season, has vast experience of playing in the Premier League and could slot into the starting line-up as Newcastle prepare for a crucial home match with Watford on Saturday.

Newcastle could even sign two new strikers before the end of the January window, with negotiations ongoing about a deal for Reims striker Hugo Ekitike.

The Premier League side have made an informal offer for Ekitike, but it has fallen short of Reims' £30m valuation of the in-form France U20 international, with talks continuing between the two clubs.

The Magpies are expected to make a formal offer, but could face competition for the striker with two unnamed Premier League clubs also interested.

Ekitike, who made his debut for Reims in August, has scored eight goals in 17 Ligue 1 appearances this season and registered three assists. The 19-year-old can also play on the left wing.

Paul Merson says Newcastle need to complete the signing of Chris Wood before Saturday's game against relegation rivals Watford, with top scorer Callum Wilson facing eight weeks out with a calf injury.

"They have to take a chance and hope someone can hit the ground running," Merson told Sky Sports. "I know he isn't prolific, but Wood plays every week for Burnley and he plays in the Premier League.

"You know he will be alright in this league. It's not going to be a shock to him and he will run through a brick wall for you.

"That's what Newcastle need. They need the likes of Kieran Tripper and Chris Wood. They need players who are going to roll their sleeves up and not come in and be shocked how fast the Premier League is.

"I worry for Newcastle, I really do. That was an absolutely shocking result against Cambridge.

"The problem is Wilson is back in eight weeks, but you cannot wait for him. You've got to bring someone in. Time is running out for Newcastle.

"They need a striker to play against Watford on Saturday. They have to bring someone in. They cannot wait until after the game on Saturday.

"They can't say they are in no rush and we'll just get through this game because if they lose to Watford they are in major trouble. They'll be in even more trouble than they are in now!

"This is why the panic is firmly on and why they have to bring a forward in. This is their cup final. They aren't winning this game without someone. They have to take a chance and it is going to be a panic buy, whatever they do, but they have to do something."

Newcastle are also attempting to add in defence following the arrival of Kieran Trippier.

They lodged a second bid worth £29.3m for Lille's Sven Botman on Friday, but the French club value him at nearer to £35m.

Wolves and Newcastle are both interested in the Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile.

The 20-year-old Monaco academy graduate is among a number of options in this position both clubs are looking at.

Newcastle want to sign at least one centre-back, with Botman their primary target.

Wolves wanted to sign Botman in the summer and were also interested in Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car, who is again on the market in January.

Wolves are not expected to spend a large fee on any new players this month.

Technical director Scott Sellars outlined the club's approach to January last week and said they may do business, but would not be busy.

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