Confusion Reigns Over Gayle Fulham Transfer as Newcastle Remain Coy on Rumoured £15m Bid
Dwight Gayle's potential transfer from Newcastle to Fulham is up in the air after the Magpies refused to confirm or deny that they had accepted a £15m bid for the striker.
The Chronicle Live's football reporter Lee Ryder posted on Twitter that the Premier League club were remaining tight lipped on speculation that Gayle was set to depart the north east for the capital before Thursday's deadline.
Reports on Tuesday had suggested that Gayle was due to head south and move to Craven Cottage after Newcastle agreed to sanction his sale to Fulham.
However, other gossip - notably from Sky Sports' Keith Downie - have alleged that Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez will only greenlight the switch himself if his club are able to bring in a suitable attacking replacement before Thursday's transfer deadline.
Gayle is out-of-favour at St.James' Park and could be seen as a like-for-like replacement for Sone Aluko, who is ready to leave the Cottagers to join Reading for a fee worth around £7.5m.
Fulham gaffer Slavisa Jokanovic sees the ex-Crystal Palace star as a viable alternative to Aluko and wants to capture Gayle's signature before 11pm rolls around on Thursday night.
Gayle was used as a substitute in Newcastle's opening two league fixtures of the season against Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur, but was dropped from the 18-man matchday squad for last Saturday's 3-0 triumph over West Ham United.
Rafa Benitez wants to be sure he has a replacement lined up before Newcastle agree to sell Dwight Gayle. £15m Fulham bid on the table.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 30, 2017
The 26-year-old helped fire the Magpies back into the Premier League at the first time of asking last season, with 23 goals plundered in just 32 Championship matches throughout 2016/17.
An alleged falling out with Benitez, however, appears to have ended their working relationship at the club, although the Spaniard was coy over Gayle's future following the shock Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest on 22nd August.
Benitez said at the time: “He’s had his ups and downs. He has to get back to the level we were expecting and the level he was last season."