The Daily Mail report that Fulham are targeting a January move for Dwight Gayle – who is also attracting interest from THREE clubs in the Middle East.
The striker has barely featured in 2020/21 after picking up a knee injury in pre-season, but did come off the bench to score a late winner against West Brom last month – our most recent victory.
Surprisingly, he’s not started since then, and The Mail report that Fulham are aiming to ‘persuade’ Toon chiefs to sell by offering an initial fee that will go up significantly should they stay up.
They aren’t the only club said to be keen, however, with Qatari duo Al-Gharafa and Al-Duhail joining Saudi side Al-Shabab in the mix for the striker who’s set to be out of contract this summer.
Scott Parker is short of attacking options and appears to be losing faith in former Toon hitman Aleksandr Mitrovic, having dropped last season’s Championship top scorer for most of the campaign.
With just six months on his current deal, Gayle will soon be free to speak to whoever he likes ahead of a potential summer move, but it is thought that the Cottagers would prefer to pay a small fee to secure his services in the current window.
Selling a known goalscorer to a relegation rival hardly strikes me as a genius idea. At the end of last season, Gayle proved that he can score goals in the top flight – bagging a respectable four in eight as we coasted to survival during Project Restart.
He certainly provides a better goalscoring threat than Andy Carroll, even if there are faint cries of ‘he’s back’ among our fanbase after his consolation goal at the weekend.
Should Fulham – or God forbid ourselves – ultimately succumb to relegation, Gayle would be an extremely worthwhile addition to either Championship squad, as he has consistently bagged goals for fun in the second tier.
There will no doubt be a host of clubs conscious of the fact he’s almost out of contract, but selling him to a side that could yet send us down seems naive at best.
Not only that, it would appear a huge gamble to let him go unless we replace him with a more reliable option this month – something that seems unlikely in itself now we’re fishing around for loans.