A lot of players were linked to Newcastle United through the last couple of transfer windows, but one was truly considered a lock to ink a deal with the Magpies on deadline day: Watford’s striker Joao Pedro.
Adam Leventhal of The Athletic is now reporting that there was, indeed, an offer submitted by Newcastle to Watford prior to deadline-day and another, final one, just hours before the window closed.
Weeks after Newcastle failed to convince Watford to accept their offer, the Championship team announced a new contract signed by Joao Pedro. The Brazilian extended his original deal by three years through the summer of 2027 after having signed with Watford back in 2020 from Fluminense.
According to Leventhal’s report, one of the premises of the new deal was “to take the possibility of a January departure off the table.” Later in the body of the report, Leventhal adds that “The Athletic can confirm that Newcastle’s attempts to sign Joao Pedro went right to the wire and was more than hearsay,” going the distance to detail an offer of “€35m earlier in the window” and a “last-ditch attempt on the morning of deadline day with sporting director Dan Ashworth involved in the negotiations with Watford’s hierarchy.“
Newcastle discussed the possibility of paying money and including Chris Wood “as a makeweight in the deal” in exchange for Joao Pedro, although “due to the late nature of the proposal it was never given serious consideration by Watford.”
The report, though, leaves the door open for a future fresh attempt to be made by Newcastle when it comes to poaching Joao Pedro from the second-tier side, with Leventhal writing that “it’s unclear whether Newcastle have moved on entirely.”
Watford is seemingly planning on holding onto the Brazilian for as long as possible in order to boost his market value (quoted at €20m on Transfermarkt right now) before selling him for a large profit—same as with Ismaila Sarr (€24m).
While Pedro has increased his value over his time in England from the €11.5m Watford paid for him initially, Sarr has actually lost value considering Watford paid €30m to Rennes for his services.
Newcastle, led by Eddie Howe’s desires, are known to be in the look for reinforcements to bolster the midfield and forward lines ahead of the second half of the season and getting into the winter transfer window.