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Asking price grows for in-demand Newcastle man but one thing could stop Ashley’s payday – opinion

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Newcastle may get another bite at the cherry for offloading Dwight Gayle this summer, as the Evening Standard understand Fulham are keen on the striker following their relegation back into the Championship, should they lose our former target man Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Gayle excelled in the English second-tier in the season just gone while on loan with West Bromwich Albion, but has now returned to Tyneside following the climax of their season, which died in the Play-Offs with defeat to Wembley-bound Aston Villa.

Our man, though, has his admirers around the country as he scored 24 times in the Championship under Darren Moore and then caretaker boss James Shan, as well as creating a further eight for his temporary teammates.

Those efforts are said to have placed the 2016 arrival from Crystal Palace at the front of Fulham’s plans, alongside Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga, as they consider who could replace Mitrovic if someone offers £30million for the Serbian.

£20million of that could go towards luring Gayle back down to the capital, as the Evening Standard note that is now our asking price, while Boro want to recoup the £15million they paid Nottingham Forest for their attacker in 2017.

Despite his strong efforts in the season just gone, Gayle most likely has no future at St James’ Park so long as Rafa Benitez is offered a new contract. The 5 ft 8 forward does not fit the profile of the boss’ ideal striker, who potentially hoped West Brom would be a saving grace in our efforts to retain the Baggies’ Salomon Rondon beyond his one-year loan deal.

But WBA cannot afford the London-born 28-year-old’s desired £55,000-a-week wage, as they failed to secure their Premier League return at the first-team of asking.

It has likewise been said Leeds United would have been interested in making a move for the Arsenal youth product, but their failure to beat Derby County in the Play-Offs similarly ensured they could not meet what was then thought to be our £15million asking price.

Be it £15m or the newly quoted £20m, though, the one thing that most likely stands in the way of Mike Ashley landing his payday, which hopefully would go toward strengthening Benitez’s squad, would have to be Gayle’s rumoured desired wage.

Fulham will likely have to cut back where they can now they have returned to the second-tier, with Spotrac noting only on-loan Andre Schurrle, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Jean Michael Seri and Mitrovic earn more than what Gayle desires.

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