The Newcastle United board risk unsettling new Toon boss Steve Bruce days ahead of our Premier League curtain-raiser by offloading Dwight Gayle.
London-born Gayle is highly sought-after ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline, with The Telegraph reporting Championship trio Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City are keen to strike a deal for the forward.
Baggies head coach Slaven Bilic is desperate for the Hawthorns natives to acquire at least three new players before the market slams shut, after several departures from the West Midlands left his ranks heavily depleted.
West Brom are thought to be pushing hard to make a return for Gayle possible, after he admitted he would be open to another stint with them in the Championship after Newcastle handed record-signing Joelinton the coveted number nine jersey.
The decision left our £40,000-a-week fringe striker dejected, but a move back to the Hawthorns may be off the cards with their financial situation making it unclear whether they can afford another loan deal.
Leeds and Stoke are said to be sounding out the potential of a temporary deal of their own, but Bruce has made it clear that he would prefer the 28-year-old remains at St James’ Park, even if he will not be his first-choice striker.
The Newcastle board have been pushing to offload Gayle all summer, but have failed to find a club willing to meet our £20million valuation. Now selling or loaning out the former Crystal Palace attacker risks destabilising Bruce’s plans, as the 53-year-old clearly has a place in them for the ex-Arsenal youngster.
“I want to keep him,” the new Toon boss stated recently, as quoted by the Chronicle.
“As I keep saying, you’re only as good as your strikers. In that area, we need a threat, and Gayle has always been part of my plans.
“We hoped he’d be ready after China, but he’s gone backwards. It’s a disappointment because I like him. I’ve tried to buy him before but not been able to afford him.”
Should Gayle leave, Bruce would have an attacking line-up on hand consisting of Joelinton and Yoshinori Muto, while Miguel Almiron and recent addition Allan Saint-Maximin can play a supporting striker role. The club also have Elias Sorensen in the academy.