Chris Wood sends message to Newcastle fans after completing move; Watford status revealed

Newcastle have confirmed the signing of striker Chris Wood from relegation rivals Burnley for a reported fee of £25million.

New Zealand frontman Wood has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and arrives in time to feature in Saturday’s massive Premier League clash with fellow strugglers Watford at St. James’ Park.

The 30-year-old becomes the Magpies‘ second signing of the January transfer window following the arrival of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

Wood will wear the number 20 shirt on Tyneside, the first number he wore for his country. The Auckland-born attacker has scored 27 goals for the All Whites in 60 games.

Wood said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I’m delighted to be a Newcastle United player.

“I have played at St. James’ Park a few times and it’s an amazing place, so to have the chance to represent this club with those incredible supporters behind me and my team-mates is very special.

“The club and manager have been first class during this process, and I really can’t wait to get onto the pitch and repay the faith they have in me, especially with a vital part of the season ahead of us.”

Newcastle keep hitting transfer road blocks

A move for Botman is off but they have other options.

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe added: “Chris is an important signing for us at a crucial time and I’m very pleased we have been able to move quickly and bring him here.

“He is a very dangerous attacking threat, has a physicality and character that I really like, and he has vast experience in the Premier League. He will be a great fit for us.”

The Analyst: Which teams do the Premier League referees support?

Newcastle aiming to win race for Leipzig star

Meanwhile, Newcastle are looking to win a transfer race with Manchester United for RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara, according to a report.

Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood have already arrived this month. Nevertheless, Newcastle still have work to do in the market. They reportedly want another striker and a new centre-back as key priorities before the window closes.

What’s more, a new midfielder who can be a long-term success in the team is also on the agenda.

According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle want to sign Mali international Haidara. The 23-year-old, who is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations, has impressed in the Bundesliga with Leipzig.

He played in 13 of 17 matches before he went on international duty. He also recently reached a milestone of 100 appearances for the German side.

And Newcastle, who like what they have seen from Haidara, have made the player a key target this month.

However, the Daily Mail adds that a deal for him will not come cheap. While he has a £33million release clause that becomes active in the summer, the Magpies face paying more than double that to sign him in January.

Furthermore, he would want a salary worth £160,000 per week. That would make him Newcastle’s highest earner.

Overall, Newcastle face paying over £80million to sign Haidara before the end of the month, the newspaper claims.

READ MORE: Newcastle capitalise on rivals’ scouting and eye hat-trick of similar deals with shot fired