In Focus: Newcastle United being smart over Gayle situation

Newcastle United will only consider selling Dwight Gayle in the next few days as long as they have a replacement lined up, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

What’s the word?

Rafael Benitez has made no secret of the fact that he has been disappointed with the club’s transfer activity this summer.

The latest rumour doing the rounds relates to Dwight Gayle, who has been linked with a move to Championship club Leeds United.

According to a recent report in the Daily Star, the Magpies are demanding £18m for the forward’s signature.

Now, Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie has tweeted that the only way Gayle will leave St James’ Park is if a new player comes in to take his place.

Is this the right approach from Newcastle?

It seems unusual for a club to allow last season’s top scorer to leave, particularly with just two days remaining until the transfer window slams shut.

Gayle scored 23 goals in 32 appearances to help the Magpies earn promotion from the second tier in the 2016-17 campaign.

However, he is yet to get off the mark in the current season, and if a higher-calibre player becomes available, then Gayle’s future must be called into question.

Newcastle’s main priority is to retain their top-flight status, therefore Benitez needs players around him that can cope with the demands.

While Gayle has proven that he can be prolific in front of goal, a striker who has shown consistency across a number of seasons could be a better option.

Whether Benitez can find that player remains to be seen, but the club are making the right call in ensuring that a replacement is found before selling.

On the flip side, if Newcastle fail to identify a new striker, then they risk having an unhappy Gayle on their hands.