West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic is still keen to explore the idea of securing a permanent deal for Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle, according to The Shields Gazette.
Bilic has been discussing potential forward additions in the winter market recently, and it is speculated that the Baggies chief is open to launching a revised approached for Gayle after their advances were rebuffed in the summer.
Gayle spent last season on loan at the Hawthorns as part of the deal which saw Salomon Rondon join Newcastle on a temporary basis (BBC), but the Championship side were not able to convert their side of the bargain into a permanent arrangement as the Magpies priced the Baggies out of the market (Express and Star).
It was thought Newcastle were holding out for as much as £20million (The Northern Echo), as interest from Stoke City and Fulham heightened confidence at St. James’ Park that the forward would be sold.
The North East outfit are still keen to recoup a sum in the region of £15m and £20m should Gayle leave in January or summer 2020, as the striker has 18-months remaining on his contract and is a player Toon boss Steve Bruce was reluctant to lose following his arrival.
Bruce’s resolve may be put to the test in January, though, as Bilic is keen to strengthen his forward numbers at West Brom if their arrival would not destabilise the current crop of attackers at his disposal.
“People are still calling, but it’s nowhere near like in the transfer window where your phone is booming,” Bilic said. “Now, every few days someone calls about those players and I say ‘look, we are full’.
“It would be brilliant for me to have another striker, but then again, you can’t have them focused [if there are too many]. We are okay. Now, for this moment, we are having a few players who can’t make the squad.
“With the new signings, I’m telling the agents and the people who are calling, I’m saying ‘listen: give us the player, so we can check him’. If there was a one-off situation, if it’s a young player and we can use him, then okay, we’d consider it, but, basically, we are okay until January.”
West Brom’s start to the Championship season would not indicate any dire need for Bilic to strengthen his forward numbers in January, as the Baggies have begun the campaign with an unbeaten record and boast the third-highest scoring offence (WhoScored).
The Baggies’ goals have also come from around the team, but they are yet to see summer signing Charlie Austin find the back of the net, having acquired the striker from Southampton for £4million in August (BBC).
Only once fit can Bruce see if his summer faith was well-placed, and a decision can then be made over whether or not Newcastle look to sell in January before his market value declines even more.
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