Watford have rejected a bid of £20million from Newcastle United for Joao Pedro and told them the highly-rated 20-year-old is not for sale.
Newcastle have been in the market for a young striker all summer having missed out on Hugo Ekitike after he opted to join Paris St-Germain instead.
It remains to be seen whether Newcastle return with a higher offer but Watford are determined to keep the Brazilian and informed him earlier in the summer that he would not be sold.
Pedro, who can play anywhere across the forward line, joined Watford from Fluminense in 2019 having come through the club’s youth academy and the Championship club want him to spearhead their push for promotion back to the Premier League.
Having sold Emmanuel Dennis to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest for a fee of up to £20m there is also less pressure on Watford to allow any more of their prize assets to go.
There has, so far, not been the expected interest in another forward, Ismaila Sarr, although there may be a bid for the Senegal international before the transfer window closes. There were suggestions last week that Leeds United were bidding for Sarr but Watford have not received any offer. They have been prepared to allow one of Dennis or Sarr to go during this window with Keinan Davis signed on loan from Aston Villa as a replacement.
Watford have made a promising start to the season under new head coach Rob Edwards, with two wins and a draw in their opening three Championship games, and with Pedro, who started all three games, having scored the only goal in the victory over Sheffield United.
Newcastle want to add to their forward options and are particularly keen to buy a young striker who can be moulded into a number nine for the future and regard Pedro as an exciting talent.