Newcastle United are prepared to risk losing a player valued at £7.2m by Transfermarkt on a free this summer.
What’s the story?
According to The Athletic, the Magpies would rather Dwight Gayle leaves for free this summer than sell during what remains of this month’s transfer window.
They claim there has been tentative interest from the Championship and teams in the Middle East but, barring an offer they simply cannot refuse, the club look to be keen on keeping him.
For his part, manager Steve Bruce is said to have pushed for a new contract, though it’s unclear as to whether or not top brass would be willing to extend the 31-year-old’s deal.
Is it good news?
In the short-term, yes.
Having Gayle stay for at least the rest of the season does afford Bruce more firepower. Indeed, the former Crystal Palace forward has proven far more prolific than either Joelinton or Andy Carroll over the last season-and-a-half, scoring a crucial winner against West Bromwich Albion in December.
Without him, the options outside of Callum Wilson in front of goal look bleak.
Given Gayle’s importance to the cause last season (only two Newcastle players had more goal involvements than him) it is wise to make sure he stays at St. James’ Park.
Hopefully, with Ciaran Clark thought to be close to signing a new contract, those behind the scenes do decide to extend his stay despite his age and recent fairly long-term injury. Indeed, Chris Waugh (also of The Athletic) suggested there are people close to the club who estimate signing a sufficient replacement would cost in excess of £10m.
With money believed to be tight as it is, keeping what they have seems the most prudent idea financially.