Newcastle agree clever striker deal with key clause crucial, as Fabrizio Romano suggests Leeds Utd move is next

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe Credit: Alamy
Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe Credit: Alamy

Newcastle have pulled off a transfer masterstroke after agreeing a striker deal with a Premier League rival, while Fabrizio Romano has hinted a Leeds Utd move could be next.

One of Newcastle’s first signings following their Saudi-led takeover was Chris Wood. The ex-Burnley frontman, now 31, arrived in a £25m deal that appeared to be with a view to weakening the Clarets as much as helping Newcastle.

Burnley ultimately suffered relegation without Wood. Newcastle have since gone from strength to strength and fears of a relegation scrap are now a distant memory.

However, following Alexander Isak’s club-record arrival, Wood has been punted down to third choice at centre-forward. Callum Wilson is also in front.

Nottingham Forest recently emerged as a strong contender to sign Wood. Indeed, Sky Sports claimed a six-month loan was ‘close’ earlier on Thursday.

Now, Sky have provided a fresh update on the move, reporting a switch to Steve Cooper’s Forest has been agreed.

Once personal terms have been finalised and a medical passed, Wood will move to the City Ground on loan for the remainder of the season.

If the move crosses the line before midday on Friday, he’ll be eligible for Forest’s clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.

However, there’s more to the deal, with the move reportedly set to contain an obligation – not option – to buy.

Newcastle could recoup £15m more than they expected

The obligation will be set around the £15m mark, and reporter Dharmesh Sheth speculated it’s conditions will centre around appearance targets and Forest avoiding relegation.

Forest have recovered after a slow start and are currently 13th in the table. Few would now bet against them beating the drop. If Sheth is correct, Newcastle may well recoup £15m next summer.

That’ll represent something of a transfer masterstroke given Sheth suggested Newcastle may have signed Wood in the belief he had no re-sale value.

On the contrary, they may now add £15m to their summer budget if Wood thrives at Forest in the coming months.

Sheth said: “The Chris Wood deal is a loan with an obligation to buy depending on certain conditions.

“We’re not privy to those conditions but you might guess it will relate to Nottingham Forest staying in the Premier League and perhaps based on appearances.

“He is heading to Nottingham to undergo a medical and complete personal terms. Forest are away to Bournemouth and if they can get the deal done by midday tomorrow, he will be available for that game.

“He joined Newcastle only this time last year on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He’s 31 so Newcastle may have thought there’s no resale value anyway.

“If it becomes an obligation, Newcastle can recoup some of the money they spent this time last year.”

Newcastle turn attention to out of favour Leeds man

Elsewhere, Fabrizio Romano reported Newcastle are pushing to sign a right-back this month, and two names have been cited.

Firstly, Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda was namechecked. The 18-year-old is also on Arsenal’s radar and the Athletic reported official bids are expected to be tabled following Valladolid’s clash with Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Fresneda can reportedly be signed for just £13m, though there’s another option much closer to home.

“Newcastle are looking for a new right-back,” Romano told CaughtOffside.

“Cody Drameh from Leeds and also Ivan Fresneda from Vallodolid are two names they are following.”

Drameh, 21, is highly rated in west Yorkshire, though that’s not translated into minutes on the pitch.

He’s behind both Rasmus Kristensen and Luke Ayling in the pecking order and in lieu of his lowly standing, is yet to sign a new deal.

His current contract expires in 2024 and TEAMtalk previously learned the chances of a fresh extension being signed are slim.

Eddie Howe wants a long-term successor to Kieran Trippier who is now 32. Trippier remains at the peak of his powers, though signing a young understudy would be prudent nonetheless.

READ MORE: Newcastle open talks to sign ‘best midfielder in the world’ after blowing Juventus away with £53m offer

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