Chris Wood has swapped Burnley for their relegation rivals Newcastle
Chris Wood has swapped Burnley for their relegation rivals Newcastle

Newcastle have turned to Burnley forward Chris Wood as their saviour in a desperate battle against relegation.

New Zealand international Wood, 30, has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at St James’ Park and is eligible to make his debut against Watford on Saturday.

Various reports suggest Saudi-backed Toon chiefs triggered the Kiwi's release clause, reported to be around the £25million mark, to make the veteran hitman their second signing of the window after Kieran Trippier.

Upon making the switch, Wood told Newcastle’s official website: "This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I’m delighted to be a Newcastle player. 

"I have played at St James’ Park a few times and it’s an amazing place, so to have the chance to represent this club with those incredible supporters behind me and my team-mates is very special. 

"The club and manager have been first class during this process and I really can’t wait to get on to the pitch and repay the faith they have in me, especially with a vital part of the season ahead of us."

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe added: "Chris is an important signing for us at a crucial time and I’m very pleased we have been able to move quickly and bring him here. 

"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."

Wood netted 49 top-flight goals for the Clarets, reaching double figures in each of his four full campaigns at Turf Moor.

Burnley are thought to have had no intention of selling their marksman but the decision was taken out of their hands after Newcastle — desperate for a goalscorer with Callum Wilson sidelined — triggered his release clause.

A short club statement said: "Burnley can confirm that Chris Wood has today joined Newcastle for an undisclosed fee, after the club triggered the striker’s transfer release clause.

"Everyone at Burnley thanks Chris for his efforts and contribution during his time at the club."

Wood will wear the No20 shirt at his new club — the first number he was given when representing his nation, for whom he has bagged 27 goals in 60 caps.

Having only found the net three times in his 17 appearances this term, the powerful forward will hope to re-find his scoring touch on Tyneside where more additions are expected before the month is out.

Trippier became Newcastle’s first January signing last week, with the England international arriving from LaLiga outfit Atletico Madrid for £12m.

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Newcastle UnitedBurnleyPremier League

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