Fulham have made Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle one of their priority targets during the last week of the transfer window. The Sun report that they aren’t going to give up on the striker and have increased their bid to £18 million. This would be a club record deal for the Cottagers and shows their ambition to get back in the Premier League. The Magpies striker scored a goal every 93.3 minutes in the Championship last season and would be a great buy for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side.
Newcastle United had indicated that Gayle would be available for transfer if they managed to sign a replacement. They are reluctant to let him go at this stage, as they have failed to sign anyone on deadline day, but the figures of the deal might be too good to turn down. Fulham aren’t prepared to give up on the player and this one is likely to go down to the wire.
Would he be a good signing?
His record in the Championship speaks for itself. Chris Wood may have finished last season as the division’s top scorer, but Gayle would have taken that honour if he didn’t suffer a hamstring injury at the beginning of 2017. The striker was playing in the team that won the league, but it wasn’t easy for him. He managed to finish the chances that came his way and showed that he can score different types of goal.
Fulham need to have a goalscorer if they are to win promotion. That is what they lacked last season. It won’t be easy for them to convince Newcastle to sell, but Gayle would be the best signing they could make in their current position. It would be a signing that excited the supporters and provides them with momentum to have a real go at promotion. The deadline is fast approaching and it looks like the all of their eggs are in the 27-year-old’s basket. The club are showing real ambition and they deserve to be applauded for that.
How likely is a deal?
At this stage of the transfer window, it looks difficult to get a deal completed for Gayle. Newcastle haven’t signed a replacement and they can’t afford to take the risk of letting one go. Fulham are going to keep trying until the deadline passes, but it would be a surprise if this one goes through. It was an ambitious move from the club, but they are unlikely to be rewarded for it.
£20 million target two years ago, Aston Villa should consider Abel Hernandez again
The Uruguayan is out of contract at Hull City this summer.
In the summer of 2016, Aston Villa were in talks to sign Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez from Hull City.
The £20 million deal looked to be good to go, until it came time to discuss salary, according to a report by the Sun.
It was claimed that Hernandez wanted £70,000-a-week to join Villa and then an increase to £100,000-a-week should Villa win promotion to the Premier League.
Those terms were considered unsatisfactory and Villa pulled the plug.
One year later, Hernandez was again linked with Villa.
Aston Villa chairman Tony Xia soon made it clear that wasn’t happening either. He was quoted by Birmingham Live as stating:
“Never will happen after last summer. Good for us.”
But what about this summer? Should Villa swoop for Hernandez once again?
There are many reasons why the Uruguayan would now be a more logical signing.
Hernandez is out of contract at Hull this summer.
The 27-year-old is therefore available on a free transfer, a massive bargain considering Villa were prepared to pay £20 million just two seasons ago.
Hernandez would also not be able to command such a wage on this occasion.
In 2016 the striker was coming off the back of scoring 22 goals in 45 games for the club and winning promotion to the Premier League.
Since then he has not been as prolific and also battled injury trouble. £70,000-a-week is simply not a possibility.
His best season with Hull actually came under the management of Steve Bruce, which might also help Villa in convincing Hernandez to Villa Park at a lower cost.
This season Hernandez managed just three games before suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon. In those three games, he scored three goals.
If Villa fail to earn promotion this season then there are not many better goalscorers available at this level – never mind on a free transfer.
Since returning to action Hernandez has played three times, scoring three goals – giving him a 100 per cent record of six goals in six games for Hull City this time.
If Villa can come to an understanding over wages, Hernandez would be the perfect summer signing.
Should Leeds United hand Oriol Rey a first-team opportunity?
The Spanish youngster has been impressing in a midfield role recently.
Leeds United fans have recently been singing the praises of the club’s under-23 performances.
Whilst the senior team have struggled in the Championship, Carlos Corberan has the development team back in fine form.
One player who has performed particularly well is Spanish talent Oriol Rey, signed in the summer from Barcelona’s youth system.
The 20-year-old has not yet made his breakthrough to the first-team, although he was on the bench for the FA Cup exit at the hands of Newport County.
Signed as a centre-back, Rey has recently been in fine form further up the field.
He is currently operating in a holding midfield role and doing so with aplomb.
His excellent range of passing combined with his ability to win back possession has made him a formidable obstacle for opposing teams.
So does Rey deserve a shot in the Leeds United first-team? At the moment, it is difficult to see why not.
Leeds are struggling in the heart of midfield. Eunan O’Kane has had a torrid season and most Leeds fans would happily see the back of him.
Youngsters Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira appear to have stagnated this campaign. Vurnon Anita is not looking up to the task either.
Leeds currently have little to lose. They are not going down and, as far as the play-offs are concerned, it would take a miracle for Leeds to finish in the top six.
Rey needs to get an opportunity to show he can play at a Championship level. Why not try him right now?
Promoting Rey to the first-team right now cannot hurt.
The youngster would need to perform very poorly to be worse than what is currently being churned out in the Leeds engine room.
The Barcelona-educated star could bring some confidence and composure to a flaky area of the current team at Elland Road.
Why not roll the dice on one of the young foreign talents in the final two months of the campaign?
Local boy and Jorge Mendes client, Andre Gray is perfect Wolves signing
Andre Gray would be a brilliant signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers if promoted.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are looking good in the hunt for Premier League promotion. The Midlands outfit are in a strong position at the top of the Championship table under the guidance of manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
But much of the credit for their success will undoubtedly go toward Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes. The club’s link with Mendes and his Gestifute agency has seen top players like Diego Jota, Leo Bonatini and Ruben Neves all arrive at the Molineux.
This summer, with Wolves likely to be in the top-flight, more signings from that agency can be expected. But not all of them have to be linked to Portuguese football. In fact, there is one man signed up to the Gestifute firm who is from Wolverhampton.
The man in question is Watford striker Andre Gray.
Gray was born in Wolverhampton and came up through the Wolves academy. He was released when he was 13 and forged his way into professional football via the non-league system.
The 26-year-old’s meteoric rise hit a major zenith when signed by Watford in the summer, for a fee reported by the Daily Mail to be in the region of £18.5 million.
Since heading to Vicarage Road the striker has not had the impact he would have liked. Gray has mostly played from the bench at Watford and has scored just four Premier League goals.
If Wolves, as expected, are promoted this summer then new signings will undoubtedly be made. Gray is a goal-machine with Premier League experience that Wolves would love to sign.
A new striker will be a priority, with Bonatini and Benik Afobe’s loan deals expiring and Rafa Mir and Bright Enobakhare looking out of the picture for now.
As for Gray, getting the chance to return to his hometown club and prove himself will undoubtedly be a massive selling point if Wolves did decide to swoop for him.
An out-of-favour, Mendes client who was born in Wolverhampton? This deal just looks like a no-brainer.
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