Newcastle United transfer target’s matchday absence explained amid fresh bid

Newcastle United transfer target Joao Pedro was missing from Watford’s matchday squad at Preston North End.

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Watford boss Rob Edwards has explained why Newcastle United target Joao Pedro missed his side’s 0-0 draw at Preston North End on Saturday.

The Magpies are attempting to negotiate a deal for the 20-year-old and believe a compromise can be reached, despite the Hornets insisting he is not for sale.

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, United have sent a £25million plus £5m add-ons proposal Watford’s way.

Pedro’s absence from the Hornets’ matchday squad at Preston heightened rumours of a potential switch to St James’ Park.

However, speculation was played down by Edwards as Newcastle look to make a breakthrough in their search for a fourth summer signing.

“Yesterday we had to change the team in the morning,” the 39-year-old said.

“He felt his calf and he was doing it against Birmingham if you actually watch the game back there’s quite a lot of times when he’s limping.

“He wasn’t fully confident on it. We had it scanned and it’s a minor tear on the calf. It won’t be too long but he was he wasn’t fit to play the game.”

Pedro isn’t the only Watford player attracting interest from elsewhere with Ismaila Sarr reportedly on the verge of a move to Aston Villa.

“It’s been a difficult week because you constantly get asked the questions,” Edwards said.

“There is obviously interest we know that and not shying or hiding away from that, we knew that was going to be the case. It’s just the fact that those two have little niggles makes it look worse.”

People are going to say what they want to say but we know the truth, so it’s fine.”