Steve Bruce must agree to sell Dwight Gayle in the January transfer window amid reports Fulham are keen to sign the Newcastle United striker to save their season.
According to the Daily Mail, the Craven Cottage natives are looking into the possibility of luring Gayle to south west London this month rather than waiting until his contract expires in the summer.
Fulham have been long-term admirers of Gayle and believe the 31-year-old can help keep the club in the Premier League, with Scott Parker short on alternatives to Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Cottagers have discussed a potential offer which will see Newcastle net a small fee in the January market that will increase should the attacker help Parker retain his side’s top-flight status.
Clubs from the Middle East including Qatari outfits Al-Gharafa and Al-Duhail are also monitoring Gayle’s situation with his £40,000-per-week deal set to expire at the end of the season, while West Bromwich Albion would rather wait until his contract concludes.
Fulham currently sit three points from safety after four-straight draws but hold two games in hand over 17th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion, yet have struggled in front of the goal with only relegation-rivals Sheffield United, Burnley and West Brom scoring less thus far.
Newcastle must listen to Fulham’s offer should the Craven Cottage natives step forward with a formal bid this month as Gayle has ransacked Mike Ashley’s pockets since being signed for £10m in 2016, whilst showing throughout his time at St. James’ Park that he cannot be trusted to help take the Magpies higher up the Premier League table.
Bruce will likely need convincing having frequently lauded Gayle and stating recently that he hopes the striker will put pen to paper a new contract, while believing the former Crystal Palace frontman – who has earned £9.5m since joining the Toon – has been unlucky with injuries.
“Dwight’s been unfortunate with his injuries, but he knows what I think about him as a player – he’s a goalscorer,” Bruce said, via quotes by BT. “How good it was to see him work tirelessly to get here. At the back end of last season, he was really on fire and he’s had an awful knee injury, but he’s got back.”
Gayle made his first appearance of the season in any competition during December’s 2-1 win over West Brom, in which he scored the winning effort, but has failed to find the back of the net in his following three outings and was an unused substitute in Newcastle’s last two games.
The 31-year-old had missed the first few months of the campaign with a knee injury, adding to calf and hamstring issues sustained during the 2019/20 season that restricted Gayle to 20 Premier League games in which he contributed four goals.
Bruce is unlikely to see much more from Gayle over the remainder of the term so must bin the striker while options are on the table, or be held accountable for the £7m-rated dud walking away for free.