Following their relegation from the Premier League in the 2017/18 season, Stoke City are targeting Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle as they look to bolster their attack ahead of their impending season in the Championship.
According to reports, Stoke boss Gary Rowett has identified two strikers who will ostensibly be playing their football in England's top flight next season as potential signings, Newcastle's Gayle, and Bournemouth's Congolese striker Benik Afobe, as reported by the Mirror.
Throughout the 2017/18 campaign, Stoke suffered as a result of their lacklustre firepower, notching, on average, less than a goal per game. Subsequently, new Potters boss Rowett has identified the front line as the position most in need of an overhaul, especially with Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri expected to depart the club this summer.
The duo shortlisted to fire Stoke back to the top flight have previous experience in the Championship, with Afobe having notched six goals in half a season on loan with Wolves in 2017/18, while Gayle bagged 23 goals in the 2016/17 Championship campaign as the Magpies regained their Premier League status.
Should Stoke look to land the forward duo they will have to shell out a fee as high as £24m, paying the Magpies £10m for Gayle, while Afobe is expected to cost £12m-14m.
Following the acquisition of Afobe and Gayle, Stoke are likely to turn their attention to Derby County's Curtis Davies, with Rowett hoping his existing relationship with the Rams' captain will help entice the 33-year-old defender to reunite with him at the bet365 Stadium.