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Newcastle: Chris Waugh drops striker claim

Newcastle: Chris Waugh drops striker claim -Newcastle United News

Newcastle United’s priority this summer is to land a striker and Benfica’s Darwin Nunez ‘has long been admired’, The Athletic’s Chris Waugh writes.

The lowdown

Newcastle did sign a striker in January, activating the £25million release clause in Chris Wood’s Burnley contract.

But Wood has struggled since his arrival, with just one non-penalty goal to his name in 15 appearances.

After starting 13 straight games, he was an unused substitute against Norwich City and only played the final 23 minutes of the 1-0 defeat against Liverpool on Saturday.

Benfica frontman Nunez, called ‘world class’ by Jorge Jesus, is enjoying an outstanding season, having netted 34 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions. Transfermarkt value the 22-year-old at £36million.

The latest

Newcastle correspondent Waugh tweeted that ‘a top-level striker is the priority this summer’ at St James’ Park.

In the attached story, he shares ‘strong indications’ from club sources that the ‘majority’ of their budget will be directed towards this position.

Newcastle are long-term fans of Nunez but Waugh believes that he’s ‘almost certain to head elsewhere’. Fortunately, head of recruitment Steve Nickson has drawn up a shortlist with a ‘host of alternatives’.

1 of 10

Only the biggest Newcastle fan will get 100% on this transfer quiz, test your friends and family! First up, who was Craig Bellamy sold to?

The verdict

What could this mean for Callum Wilson, who remains Newcastle’s top scorer this season with six goals?

Well, Waugh does raise the possibility that the new arrival could play alongside Wilson, and it’s worth remembering that Howe previously deployed the Englishman in a front two during their time together at Bournemouth.

But he must still be a little concerned by the stories he’s reading and may seek assurances from the manager.

Indeed, insider Dean Jones recently claimed that Wilson is unlikely to be a ‘main player’ when he’s returned from the calf injury that’s kept him out since December.

Is there still a place for him when Newcastle have the funds to make a blockbuster addition?

In other news, Frank McAvennie reacts to a Bruno Guimaraes exit story.

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