As things stand, Dwight Gayle is set to leave Newcastle United on a free at the end of the season.
What’s the story?
According to The Athletic, there have been tentative discussions with the player’s representatives over the idea of extending his contract but, given his age and the fact he has suffered various injuries during his time on Tyneside, the 31-year-old is unlikely to be offered a new deal on the terms he would like.
While the player himself is thought to be open to the idea of staying, he is also thought to be aware that his next contract is likely to be his last big one amid interest from team in the Middle East, Turkey, MLS and in Europe.
Is this a bad thing?
Gayle has proven himself at both Championship and Premier League level. Indeed, he was crucial in helping Rafa Benitez secure an instant return to the top tier in 2017, bagging 23 goals in 32 games during the club’s last season in the second tier.
Though he has never been as prolific in the top division, only two players (Jonjo Shelvey and Allan Saint-Maximin) bettered his six goal contributions last season. Indeed, even this time around, he’s scored the winner against West Bromwich Albion.
As a back-up in the Premier League, he looks like the best option behind Callum Wilson on the club’s books as things stand. Should Steve Bruce not be able to keep the team up this season, he’s a ready-made proven Championship goalscorer.
It’d be hard to blame Gayle if he was offered a deal that suited his terms elsewhere and chose to leave.
However, he can play a part in either of the divisions Newcastle might find themselves in next season, so decision-makers seriously need to consider whether or not they feel they can sign someone better.
Indeed, that certainly wouldn’t be an easy task.