Leeds unlikely to be tempted as West Brom explain Dwight Gayle decision

Date published: Monday 20th May 2019 6:53

Dwight Gayle’s huge wage demands of £55,000 a week have ended his hopes of earning a permanent move to West Brom – while fellow suitors Leeds are also expected to be priced out.

Newcastle striker Gayle arrived at The Hawthorns in a loan swap with Salomon Rondon last summer – and both strikers have proved big hits at their respective temporary bases.

And while both players have made it clear they want to make their stays permanent, Gayle’s hopes of a long-term switch to the Hawthorns are over after the club made it clear they “cannot afford Premier League wages” while still in the second tier.

“Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract,” Albion technical director Luke Dowling told BBC West Midlands when asked to explain the decision not to sign Gayle permanently.

“We will pay Premier League contracts but only when we are back in the Premier League.

“I know it won’t be the news Albion fans want to hear, but they need to trust us and know we are doing everything right for this football club.”

The likes of Birmingham City and Bolton have both fallen foul of financial restrictions this season and – in an effort to protect their own future – Dowling explained he was not prepared to gamble with the club’s long-term well-being.

“We don’t want to keep players on big contracts and then have to lay off normal staff and make people redundant,” added Dowling.

“We have good people behind the scenes. We want to do that and still have a really competitive wage bill on the pitch, which we will have next year.”

Gayle netted an impressive 24 goals for Albion this season as they finished fourth, but their failure to earn promotion via the play-offs (Aston Villa having beaten them on penalties to reach the Wembley showpiece) means the club have opted against his permanent signing.

There has been reports that their fellow promotion contenders Leeds could look to sneak in and sign Gayle, but his wages will also be beyond what the Yorkshire side are prepared to pay.

With the club hopeful that Marcelo Bielsa will stay on next season, planning is already underway at Elland Road over the areas in which Leeds may need to strengthen this summer, with a striker widely expected to be top of their wishlist.

While Leeds may struggle to finance Newcastle’s £15m asking price for Gayle, Newcastle’s interest in a number of the Whites stars – with Kalvin Phillips and Jack Clarke’s names cropping up  – suggested a deal could be arranged.

However, any such deal is of no interest to Leeds with the wages of Gayle the biggest stumbling block to that.

Leeds, meanwhile, have been strongly linked with Barcelona B forward Rafa Mujica, though he is expected to go into their U23 development squad first.

 

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