Newcastle United are ready to test Watford’s resolve by launching a second bid for Joao Pedro.
Eddie Howe’s side saw an opening bid of around £20million plus add-ons rejected by the Hornets for their Brazilian star.
The message from the Championship club is the 20-year-old is not for sale but the Magpies are hopeful a compromise can be reached.
United are lining up a new and improved offer, which transfer guru Fabrizio Romano believes could happen ‘in the next hours’.
Watford boss Rob Edwards admitted Newcastle’s first bid was “not anywhere near the level” expected.
He said: “There has a been a bid in for Joao that’s been talking about.
“It’s not anywhere near the level that we’d expect it to be for him, but I’m involved in that conversation and if anything else was to come in again we’ll sit down and talk about it as a club and as a board.”
Joao Pedro ticks plenty of boxes
Howe is keen to bolster his attacking options in the remaining fortnight of the summer transfer window - and Pedro fits the bills.
Ideally, the Newcastle head coach wants to sign a player aged 21 who can use their potential to grow with the football club throughout its project.
Howe thought he had that in Hugo Ekitike before the France under-20s international opted for French champions Paris Saint-Germain instead.
So, it’s no coincidence the names linked in recent weeks, namely Goncalo Ramos and Armando Broja, fall into that age bracket.
Not just that, Pedro has the versatility to play as a striker or in a wide position - two positions Howe wants to strengthen.
Concerns over stats but promising appraisals
A number of Newcastle fans on social media have doubted Pedro’s ability simply by judging his statistics in the Premier League last season.
He scored just three goals in 28 appearances, one of which was a late equaliser in front of the Gallowgate End during the 1-1 draw at St James’ Park in January.
Sources in Watford are adamant Pedro is an exceptional talent, hence why the Hertfordshire club are reluctant to lose him.
Pedro is currently in his fourth season at Vicarage Road having scored in their opening day win over Sheffield United.
In total, he scored 14 times in 76 appearances since joining from Brazilian side Fluminense in 2020.
Pedro keen on Newcastle but won’t force move yet
Pedro is thought to be keen on a move to St James’ Park but has shown no signs yet of trying to force a move.
Speaking about Pedro’s future this week, Edwards said: “With him, you wouldn’t know anything was going on at all, he’s fully focused on his job and fully focused on playing for this football club.
“The amazing thing about Joao is he’s so intelligent, I can play him in different areas of the pitch and he still finds a way to influence the game even when we went 4-4-2 at the end to really try and push, put him out on the right and he still finds the right spaces and trying to create.
“Joao is fully committed on the here and now and obviously he can’t control anything that happens externally so he’s dealing with everything very, very well.”
It’s understood Fluminense will earn 10 per cent of the transfer fee should Watford sell Pedro to the Magpies.