Newcastle: Wood attracting Juve interest

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth could well be able to offload striker Chris Wood in the January transfer window, amid reported shock interest in the New Zealand international.

What’s the word?

According to Italian outlet Juve Dipendenza, Serie A giants Juventus are reportedly open to a move for the 31-year-old in the New Year, should the Magpies firm up their apparent interest in Moise Kean.

The report suggests that the Tynesiders have their ‘eye on’ the 22-year-old – who is on loan in Turin from Everton – with that interest potentially set to see a swap deal emerge with Wood heading in the other direction, with the former Burnley man said to be ‘certainly well liked’ by Max Allegri.

The suggestion is that Il Bianconeri view the 70-cap marksman as a potential understudy to Dusan Vlahovic – who has been linked with a move to St James’ Park – although any move will likely rest on whether Kean moves in the other direction.

Ruthlessly ditch

It could well seemingly prove an opportune time for Ashworth and co to move on the one-time Leeds United man, with Wood having simply struggled to make his mark following his £25m arrival from Lancashire back in January.

The 6 foot 3 menace – who has also been linked with a return to Elland Road in recent days – had no doubt been a “strange” addition at the time, in the words of talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor, having only scored three goals in the first half of last season for the Clarets.

Although the Auckland-born powerhouse had enjoyed a notable record at Turf Moor with 53 goals in 165 games across all fronts, the move to the northeast seemingly stunk of a short-term fix, with Eddie Howe’s side having been in need of a reliable backup to the injury prone Callum Wilson.

The £80k-per-week dud went on to score just twice in 17 games in the second half of the 2021/22 campaign, having subsequently scored only two goals in 16 outings this time around, with one of those strikes coming against lower-league side Tranmere Rovers in the Carabao Cup.

The towering forward now seems a “bit lost” at Newcastle – in the words of pundit Tam McManus – as Howe’s more progressive approach appears at odds with the player’s own strengths, having typically been a player who “feeds on long balls”, as per McManus.

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With club-record signing Alexander Isak now stepping up his return to fitness, there appears little need to keep Wood at the club, particularly should the aforementioned Kean arrive in his place, with the latter man having netted five times in 18 outings this term.

While Wood has only been with the Magpies for just under a year, Ashworth must surely use this potential opportunity to ruthlessly ditch him sooner rather than later.

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