Newcastle United are ready to sell Dwight Gayle for around £18 million before the transfer deadline, according to the Guardian. However, they won’t release the striker until a replacement is lined up and guaranteed to arrive at St James’ Park. Leeds United’s interest in the 27-year-old has cooled, but there are lots of other interested teams in the Championship. After averaging a goal every 93.3 minutes in the division last season, he would be a coup for any club in the second tier.
It will surprise some that Newcastle are looking to sell him after his success at the club last season, but Rafa Benitez has grown concerned by his attitude. The striker is now physically fit, but he hasn’t recovered mentally from a long-term hamstring problem. This is causing him problems with his movement on the pitch and he is no longer as effective. If interested clubs bring this up in negotiations, it could drop the price to nearer £10 million.
Should they sell him?
After such an impressive first campaign at St James’ Park, it would be a huge statement to let him leave before the transfer deadline. Gayle was expected to be the club’s first-choice striker this season and his form last season indicated that he could do well in the Premier League. His first two matches of the new campaign were disappointing, but it does remain early and it would be harsh to judge him on those.
However, Newcastle need to find money from somewhere and Gayle is one of their most saleable assets. Championship clubs would be willing to pay top dollar for him as they know he can score goals consistently in the division. It is difficult to get a guarantee of goals, but the 27-year-old is as close as you get. If they can source and put a deal in place for a suitable replacement, a departure could be viewed as a positive. The former Crystal Palace striker clearly has psychological problems when it comes to his own fitness and if Benitez can’t rely on him, there is a problem in the relationship.
How likely is a departure?
At this stage, there are a lot of rumours in the media and clubs are open to discussing a number of different things. If a club did come in for Gayle and offered a significant fee, it would be possible for the striker to leave. However, it is difficult to see an acceptable offer coming in and a replacement being brought in. There would have to be a lot of manoeuvring done to see the striker leave St James’ Park and it isn’t huge likely as things stand.