Newcastle are close to agreeing a deal to offload Chris Wood to Nottingham Forest with a trusted Sky Sports reporter providing an update on the structure of the deal.
The Magpies signed Wood in a deal worth around £25m last January, the player becoming the second arrival of the PIF era. And while he has managed just five goals in 39 appearances for United, he remains a big favourite of manager Eddie Howe.
Indeed, the New Zealand international has featured in 18 of Newcastle’s 19 matches this season, scoring three times in all competitions. As such, it comes as something of a surprise to learn that Howe is willing to move him on this month.
Newcastle are currently riding high in fourth place in the Premier League table, having lost just once this season. And with their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League appearing possible, they will surely need all the options available during the run-in.
However, Howe has been recently able to welcome back record signing Alexander Isak from injury. The Sweden striker was back on the scoresheet last time out as they recorded a late win over Fulham.
And they can also call upon England striker Callum Wilson, who has also proved a reliable performer for Newcastle.
As such, Wood appears to be fading from the first-team picture at Newcastle. And with Howe potentially ready to reinvest in another attacker – Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby has been linked – perhaps the time is right to let Wood move on.
Chris Wood closes on Forest loan
Providing an update on the prospective exit of Wood to Forest, Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth admits an agreement is close.
Describing the move as ‘clever’, Sheth told Sky Sports’ Transfer Show that a move will soon be finalised.
“I’m told that this is really close to happening,” he said.
“This could be a clever deal for Newcastle as if he does well at Nottingham Forest, they might want that option to buy. If they don’t stay in the Premier League, but he still plays quite well, then his market value will still be quite high.
“If you remember, this time last year he signed a two-and-a-half year contract joining from Burnley. They spent £20-25m on him, they would want to recoup some of that money back. They think this is the best way to do that,
“He has only started four Premier League games and Alexander Isak is back to compete with Callum Wilson up front.”
With Wood closing on a move to Forest, it seems unlikely he will ever be seen in a Magpies shirt again. Howe’s side are a team on the up and want to move away from the limited threat Wood brings to them.
Indeed, he’s only averaged 0.5 shots per game he’s appeared in this season, hence his lack of goals. Granted, Newcastle don’t play to his strengths the way previous Burnley did.
But he may prove a shrewd addition for Steve Cooper’s side who themselves need another goal threat to avoid relegation.