Stoke City reportedly wants to bring in Dwight Gayle from Newcastle United but still has to convince Rafael Benitez with a sizeable bid. The Tyneside outfit would ideally like to get more than £10m for the striker but only if a replacement is brought prior to his departure. Gayle himself is happy at St James’ Park and still has 3 more years left in his current contract.
The Spanish boss is adamant on keeping all his core group of players with the hope of signing more this summer. He has demanded financial backing from Mike Ashley but has not received any as of yet. Despite scoring just 6 in the 2017/18 campaign, Gayle still holds a cemented starting spot in Benitez’s side and does not have any able backups.
United already has plans of selling Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of the 2018/19 season for at least £15m-£20m. The Serbian international is due to return after the completion of his loan spell with Fulham. His impressive scoring form in the Championship last term has attracted a lot of attention from the lower division and other European clubs, including the Cottagers themselves.
Benitez hopes that the 2018 FIFA World Cup will raise the value of the 23-year-old forward enough to bring in a more able and high-pedigree replacement. The former Chelsea boss is already on the lookout for an in-form number nine after witnessing the horror loan spell of Islam Slimani from Leicester City in the second half of the 2017/18 season.
The Algerian forward remained injured for most of his visit to the St. James’ Park and later got suspended for three games after kicking out at Craig Dawson in a league game, thus ending his chances of a permanent recall.
Newcastle managed to snipe in at the 10th spot of the Premier League table last season due to the defensive structure Benitez has set up and also because of the scoring form of Ayoze Perez. While Gayle was missing clear-cut chances, the Spaniard was filling in to great effect from the shadow striker position.
Benitez was declined the transfer funds to go after Nicolai Jorgensen in the January window. He has not been offered money to go after alternatives either this season which strongly predicts Dwight Gayle to stay put at Tyneside this summer.
Plus Stoke City have already signed their man in Benik Afobe from Wolves and might not have much left over to pursue another top-flight name.
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