Alan Pardew claims this Crystal Palace man has agreed a new contract

Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace - 23/02/2014

The Eagles manager says he believes a deal has been agreed in principle to tie Dwight Gayle's future to the club.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has told reporters, as quoted by the Guardian, that he believes striker Dwight Gayle has agreed an extension to his contract at Selhurst Park.

Gayle cost Palace £3.5 million when he was signed from Peterborough United three years ago, but his strike in the 2-2 draw at West Ham United 10 days ago was his first goal in 12 Premier League appearances this season.

However, a big factor in that diminished return has been injury problems; the 25-year-old played just one match between Halloween and the end of February due to persistent hamstring issues.

The industrious striker has been far from prolific in his time at Selhurst Park, with his seven league goals in his debut season at the club the highest tally he has managed in a season, but the London club turned down an offer from Bristol City worth a reported £9 million last summer.

However, it appears as though the club believe he still has what it takes to be a key player for the club in the top flight when fit, as Pardew claimed to reporters on Tuesday it is his understanding that a new contract for the striker has been agreed in principle.

The Eagles boss said, as quoted by the Guardian: “I believe that contract is agreed. If it’s signed, I’m not 100% sure, but he’s a player who scores goals and we’ve missed him for long periods this season.

"All our strikers have been out for too long - we’ve never had a continuous run with one of them, and that’s probably one of the reasons the goals tally next to their names don’t really reflect their ability."

Gayle has just one more season left on his current deal, and after finishing the last two campaigns as the side's top goalscorer he is seen as an important member of the attack by the club.

He made his first start since the end of October in the crucial 1-0 win over Norwich City at the weekend, and will be hoping to retain his place in the side ahead of Connor Wickham for the meeting with Everton on Wednesday night.

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