According to Football Insider, Newcastle valued Dwight Gayle at £20m last summer and will refuse to sell him at a reduced fee in January – despite him being out of contract next summer.
The striker can leave on a free agent if no new deal is agreed between now and the end of the season, but the report claims that Steve Bruce has demanded any offers for the 30-year-old to be blocked next month, with him deemed a key squad player should Callum Wilson get injured.
Gayle ended the 2019/20 season impressively, bagging four goals and an assist during eight appearances over Project Restart.
He was benefiting from Bruce’s switch to a four-man defence, however he suffered a knee injury over pre-season, meaning he’s yet to kick a ball in competitive action since July.
That said, he has been spotted back in first-team training last week, with Steve Bruce’s recent comments suggesting he’s looking sharp and has a big part to play this season.
Although he’s been needed – Carroll, Joelinton and Muto have hardly been reliable options up top – it does seem silly that we could lose a squad player on a free so soon after a top Championship club would’ve no doubt given us £10-£15m.
Who knows, he may yet earn a new deal should he prove his fitness over the coming months, but I can’t help but wish he’d stayed at West Brom and we’d kept Salomon Rondon last summer!