Dwight Gayle agreed to sign a new deal at Newcastle United ‘a few weeks ago’, Lee Ryder has clarified in a fan Q&A for Chronicle Live.
The Athletic reported at the end of March that Gayle had extended his stay at St James’ Park by signing a new three-year contract on reduced terms, but rumours around his future have continued to swirl.
Ryder’s Chronicle Live colleague Mark Douglas said he could still see the striker departing, while a report in the Sunday Mirror suggested that Chris Wilder was keen on bringing the 30-year-old back to West Brom if he is appointed manager at The Hawthorns.
As per Chronicle Live, Ryder was asked to confirm Gayle’s contract situation by a Newcastle supporter who was still unsure after reading ‘mixed reports’.
The journalist claimed: “I was told it [the new deal] had been verbally agreed or done in principle”, adding that Gayle’s family are said to be “settled” on Tyneside, hence his inclination to stay.
The 30-year-old is currently on holiday, so an official announcement could be made after his return.
The real question mark here is whether Newcastle have moved to extend Gayle’s deal because they consider him a valuable part of the squad, or because they’re looking to protect his value. Of the striker’s 20 appearances last term, 16 came as a substitute, which certainly doesn’t suggest that he is a central figure at St James’ Park.
It does have the air of a pragmatic step from a club which probably won’t be shedding its deadwood while it remains in limbo amid the ongoing takeover saga.
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