Premier League clarify confusion over Newcastle United's deadline to register Chris Wood and new signings in time for Watford

Newcastle United have set themselves a tight deadline to bring players in before Saturday’s crucial Premier League match against Watford at St James's Park (3pm kick-off).

The Magpies are closing in on a £25million move for Burnley striker Chris Wood and hope to have him available for Saturday’s crucial Premier League match against Watford at St James’s Park.

Wood was taken off at half-time in Burnley’s FA Cup defeat at Huddersfield with a knock but is currently undergoing a medical at Newcastle ahead of a proposed move.

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But there have been conflicting reports regarding when Newcastle are able to register new signings in order for them to be eligible to play this weekend.

Manchester United's Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay (L) vies with Burnley's New Zealand striker Chris Wood (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on December 30, 2021 (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

What the Premier League rules state

Rule U.23. in the Premier League Handbook states: “Subject to the provisions of Rule V.1, the deadline for receipt by the Board of all duly completed documents required by these Rules to effect the registration of a Player shall be 12 noon on the last Working Day before the date of the first League Match in which the Club making the application intends him to play, save that the international transfer certificate and evidence of eligibility to take up employment in the United Kingdom (in both cases if applicable) may be provided thereafter (but must be provided before the Player is eligible to play for a Club in a League Match)."

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With Brighton and Crystal Palace playing on Friday night (8pm kick-off), some have interpreted the rule as the last working day before this week’s round of fixtures – which would mean the player would have to be registered by noon on Thursday.

But this is not the case, as the Premier League have clarified.

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What the Premier League have said

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A Premier League spokesperson told The Gazette: “Rule U.23. is specific only to the team itself wishing to register a player, it doesn’t take into account any other team’s fixtures or the match round in which they will next play.”

That means Newcastle are able to register new signings up until noon on Friday, January 14 in order for them to play against Watford on Saturday.

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If a player is registered after that time, Newcastle will have to wait until the trip to Leeds United on January 22 (3pm kick-off) for them to be available to play.

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