Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle future continues to be a potent blend of uncertainty and fear, but the United board are confident the Spaniard’s tenure will not have an impact on their chances of selling Dwight Gayle for their full asking price, as per the Northern Echo.
Gayle may be an outcast at St James’ Park, but he is thought to be attracting a lot of second-tier interest, with Stoke City joining relegated Fulham in the race for his signature, although the Craven Cottage side’s stance continues to be held back by potential sales.
Scott Parker’s South-West London outfit are keen to make a deal happen for the 28-year-old striker, but their efforts are tied with selling former Newcastle forward Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Stoke, in contrast, are in a stronger position financially as they are due to receive another round of their parachute payments from the Premier League, and also expect to land a further £30million for England goalkeeper Jack Butland.
The Potters are also seen to be willing to meet our £20million asking price for Gayle regardless of what happens with Benitez’s future and potential sales at the bet365 Stadium this summer.
Benitez continuing his tenure at St James’ Park could offer another Championship club the chance to challenge Stoke, however, as West Bromwich Albion still want to bring the London-born attacker back at the Hawthorns following his successful loan spell there.
As has been widely reported, though, they can only advance on their interest once Salomon Rondon is sold, and there continues to be a strong reluctance on Tyneside to trigger his £16.5million release clause given he turns 30 in the third week of September.