Steve Bruce has warned Leeds United to keep their hands off Dwight Gayle, insisting the striker is in his plans.
Gayle spent last season away from Newcastle, on loan at West Brom, but new boss Bruce has quashed rumours that he could be leaving again.
The 29-year-old has been linked with a move to Leeds as a replacement for Kemar Roofe, while Stoke have also been linked, but Bruce told the Newcastle Chronicle that he wants Gayle to be involved at St James’ Park this season – despite him being injured for the entirety of pre-season.
“I want to keep him,” he insisted. “As I keep saying, you’re only as good as your strikers.
“In that area we need a threat and Gayle has always been part of my plans.
“We hoped he’d be ready after China but he’s gone backwards.
“It’s a disappointment because I like him.
“I’ve tried to buy him before but not been able to afford him!
“It’s a calf injury and it’s not reacting to treatment yet.”
When pressed over whether he would be looking to sign another striker to play alongside Gayle, he said: “We’re OK in that department.
“I’ve got five there. Realistically, where can we improve?
“There’s one or two little areas where we can do something but it’s all about quality.”
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