Newcastle face dilemma as quartet share striker transfer belief for January

Newcastle United will have a decision to make in January regarding the future of Dwight Gayle after the number of clubs looking to sign him reportedly doubled.

Gayle is one of three strikers currently in the Newcastle squad, along with Callum Wilson and Joelinton. But he has been the one with the fewest chances so far this season. Indeed, he is yet to start a Premier League game in 2021-22.

The 32-year-old is still under contract with the club until 2024. However, his long-term future may not be at St James’ Park after all.

Amid his lack of opportunities, a number of clubs have been looking to take him to the second tier. According to Football Insider, two more Championship clubs have joined the race for Gayle.

The online outlet claims Middlesbrough and Stoke City have now joined a transfer battle in which West Brom and Nottingham Forest were already established.

Gayle spent the 2018-19 season on loan at West Brom, which was the last time he played in the Championship. His return was 23 league goals.

He also previously hit the same tally to help Newcastle win promotion in the 2016-17 season.

In the three full seasons he has spent at St James’ Park since then, though, only 11 Premier League goals have come.

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It seems he is better suited to the Championship. As such, the list of clubs in that league chasing him is increasing.

Much of the focus regarding Newcastle’s January activity since their Saudi-backed takeover has been on whom they might sign. However, player exits will be just as important as they aim to give Eddie Howe a squad he trusts to keep them up.

Strikers not a priority for Newcastle amid Dwight Gayle exit links

In fact, incomings and outgoings may be intertwined. The report warns that Newcastle might not let Gayle leave if they can’t sign a replacement.

But if they are able to address the striker situation – after Howe’s focus on adding two new centre-backs and a midfielder – then Gayle could be allowed to drop down a level.

All four of his Championship admirers believe he can hit the ground running midway through the season if he joins them.

West Brom and Stoke are both in the play-off places after 21 games of the season. Boro are in ninth and Forest are 13th.

Any of them would benefit from Gayle’s addition as they aim to make an upwards surge in the second half of the season.

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