Steve Bruce must urge Newcastle United to agree on a new contract with Dwight Gayle amid claims the striker is set to be the subject of a tempting transfer offer.
According to Chronicle Live, clubs from abroad are starting to show an interest in Gayle’s situation, with the 31-year-old currently set to be a free agent at the end of the season.
One of the sides monitoring developments at St. James’ Park is thought to be preparing an enticing offer for the former Crystal Palace marksman to join them on a Bosman deal in the summer.
Gayle has only started one of his 10 appearances across all competitions during the 2020/21 campaign after opening Monday night’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea but is now expected to earn a prolonged run in Bruce’s plans following Callum Wilson’s deep hamstring tear.
Gayle is also yet to be offered new terms to continue his career on Tyneside, much like fellow soon-to-be free-agents Andy Carroll and Jacob Murphy.
However, Bruce has hinted that he is interested in retaining the £40,000-per-week centre-forward beyond the current term.
“There are a number of players with contracts up and Dwight is one of them,” the Toon boss said on Friday. “There will be conversations to be had over the next few weeks. I am sure.
“We are in the middle of Covid, and in the middle of trying to secure our Premier League status. So, discussions will be ongoing I am sure.”
While Gayle has rarely featured this season and only boasts one goal to his name across all competitions in December’s match-winning strike at home to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion, Bruce should be urging Newcastle to table a new deal to the forward.
United are not expected to be blessed with a large budget to play within the transfer market this summer, much like in January when the loan arrival of Arsenal product Joe Willock on Deadline Day proved to be the Magpies’ only piece of business.
That’s put down to the loss of match-day revenue, with Newcastle usually making around £25m a season through ticket sales that would generally go toward the war chest.
“I think what you are going to see, especially during the pandemic, is that we haven’t seen many big transfers and I can’t see things changing in the summer,” Bruce said earlier this month. “So, I think it will be the same again, I would have thought.
“There will be a few and a privileged few that will have money but certainly, the way it’s looking, I don’t think there will be supporters back in the ground this season. Every club is haemorrhaging money at the moment. It was earmarked for transfers, so it will be more of the same.”
If that does prove to be the case, Newcastle can ill-afford to release a player like Gayle – who former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan describes as a “weapon” – as well as Carroll, as it would leave a gap in Bruce’s pecking order beside Wilson and Joelinton that only money can solve.
And even if Gayle only puts pen to paper on a one-year extension, the Magpies would be securing depth at striker for another season but remain in a position where they could look to listen to offers for the £7m-rated attacker in the summer market.
His record in the Championship is mightily impressive too (59 goals in 100 games), so if the unfortunate does happen this season, then Bruce – or whoever is in charge – will be well-equipped to come straight back up.
So, unless Bruce, Managing Director Lee Charnley and owner Mike Ashley have a list of free agents or those up for release that can provide what Gayle delivers, United really have no choice but to present the London-born attacker with a new deal.