Soccer-Newcastle sign New Zealand striker Wood from relegation rivals Burnley

Premier League - Leeds United v Burnley
Soccer Football - Premier League - Leeds United v Burnley - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - January 2, 2022 Burnley's Chris Wood in action with Leeds United's Robin Koch Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith /File Photo

January 13, 2022

(Reuters) -Newcastle United have signed New Zealand striker Chris Wood from relegation rivals Burnley on a two-and-a-half-year deal, the two Premier League clubs announced on Thursday.

The clubs did not disclose financial details of the transfer but British media reported that Newcastle paid Burnley 25 million pounds ($34.3 million) for the 30-year-old.

“You’ve got to look at it and feel what your gut says. It was just one of them feelings you had like it’s the right time in my career,” Wood, who has scored 27 times for New Zealand, said in his first news conference as a Newcastle player.

“I’m a firm believer that you have to step out of your comfort zone to achieve greatness or some sort of great footballing talent. There’s no illusion that this is going to be a big challenge for me.”

Wood had been a key player for Burnley, having scored 49 goals in 144 league matches during his four-and-a-half years at Turf Moor. He joined Burnley from Leeds United in 2017 for a then-club-record fee.

Wood added that there was no ill feeling towards his former club despite Newcastle and Burnley both being in a tussle to stay up.

“There was no bad blood at all. I really enjoyed my time at Burnley… the highs that we had playing in the Europa League, finishing 10th in the league…” he told reporters.

Wood is Burnley’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League, with his 49 goals accounting for nearly a third of the Clarets’ total in the competition since he made his debut in August 2017.

Newcastle were in need of attacking reinforcements after top striker Callum Wilson had been ruled out for eight weeks due to a calf injury.

“He is a very dangerous attacking threat, has a physicality and character that I really like, and he has vast experience in the Premier League. He will be a great fit for us,” said manager Eddie Howe.

Wood becomes Newcastle’s second signing since the club’s takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in October and more are expected to follow in the January window.

Newcastle, who are second-bottom in the league on 11 points after 19 matches, signed England fullback Kieran Trippier from LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid last week.

They are due to host Watford in the league on Saturday.

($1 = 0.7282 pounds)

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk and Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Dhruv Munjal; Editing by Toby Chopra and Toby Davis)