The Mirror claim that Stoke boss Gary Rowett is ‘pushing’ to sign Dwight Gayle this summer – and the Chronicle have since admitted that Benitez could cash in IF a replacement is signed and a fee ‘in excess’ of £10m is offered.
This isn’t the first time Stoke have been strongly linked with a move for the NUFC number 9 following their relegation to the Championship.
They look set to complete the £12m signing of Wolves striker Benik Afobe, however the Mirror claim that Rowett also wants Dwight Gayle to spearhead their push for immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
The Chronicle have since responded to these rumours, confirming Stoke’s interest and Gayle’s preference to stay on Tyneside – stating that a deal could happen if two conditions are met:
“Stoke City remain keen on Dwight Gayle – but Newcastle United will not contemplate selling the forward until they have reinforcements lined up.
“The 27-year-old is happy on Tyneside and would prefer to stay in the North East if possible.
“If Newcastle were to consider selling Gayle, they would push for a similar figure, and would only begin to listen to offers in excess of the £10m they paid Crystal Palace for the forward two summers ago.”
After scoring 23 goals on our way to the Championship title in 2016/17, it’s easy to see why Stoke would like him – but it’s also clear why Benitez would be reluctant to sell unless replacements are found.
With Mitrovic set to be sold and no strikers signed as of yet, Rafa will be reluctant to deplete his striking options even further.
That being said, it sounds like he’d also be open to cashing in on Gayle IF he was able to find a replacement – a move I’d not be against on the back of his his out of sorts season.