Burnley striker Chris Wood completes £25m move to Newcastle United
Chris Wood has completed his £25m move to Burnley’s relegation rivals Newcastle United – ahead of their key clash with Watford at St James’ Park on Saturday.
But where it leaves the Clarets remains to be seen.
Burnley were forced into the club record-equalling sale to the Magpies, after Newcastle triggered a release clause in Wood’s last contract, signed in November 2019.
They are thought to have been alerted to the clause by his agency CAA Base, who also represent former Claret Kieran Trippier, who also joined Newcastle last week from Atletico Madrid.
At the weekend, when the speculation initially emerged, It was believed that there was little chance of Burnley countenancing any such transfer, but, the release clause left them with no choice, as the player, who had 18 months to run on his contract, wanted to make the move.
Burnley go into Saturday’s home game with Leicester City in 18th, level on points with Newcastle, but above the Magpies on goal difference – with the Toon Army facing their own critical home game against Watford.
Watford – two points above Burnley and Newcastle – are also at Turf Moor on Tuesday night.
For Burnley, however, it is now a race to replace Wood, with the transfer window open until midnight on Monday, August 31st.
Wood leaves having netted 49 Premier League goals for the club in 144 appearances, after a club record £15m move from Leeds in the summer of 2017 – but has only three goals this season.
And fit and available strikers are thin on the ground at Turf Moor, with top scorer Maxwel Cornet away with Ivory Coast at the Afrca Cup of Nations.
Ashley Barnes has also been out until the end of October with a thigh injury. Assistant boss Ian Woan said of Barnes last week: “Ashley has been back on the grass, he’s ahead of the curve and looks strong, you have to put the reins on him because he’s so eager to get back, he can be his own worst enemy, he pushes himself so hard, but he seems in a good place.
“He’s still a few weeks away.”
Matej Vydra tested positive for Covid last week, but he has also been carrying a groin/hernia problem which will require surgery.
So that leaves Jay Rodriguez as the only fully fit senior striker – the 32-year-old hit his fifth cup goal of the season in the FA Cup defeat against Huddersfield Town.
But he is without a Premier League goal since netting in the 3-0 win at Crystal Palace in February 2021.