Report: Aston Villa want £15m PL man who Smith called a 'very good player'

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa during the Carabao Cup Semi Final match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at The King Power Stadium on January 08, 2020 in Leicester, England.

Dwight Gayle could reportedly make a shock move from Newcastle United to Premier League relegation rivals Aston Villa.

Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St. James Park on May 13, 2018 in...

Newcastle United bench-warmer Dwight Gayle is attracting interest from Aston Villa during the January transfer window, according to the Times.

Are Villa getting a little desperate?

With Olivier Giroud heading to Italy, Krzysztof Piatek seemingly bound for Spurs and with a loan deal for Michy Batshuayi now impossible after Danny Drinkwater’s arrival from Chelsea, options are running out as Dean Smith’s side scour the market for a new number nine.

 

And, according to the Times, Aston Villa have turned, with time running out, to a man who cannot buy a game for relegation rivals Newcastle.

The Northern Echo claims that, despite his lack of action in recent months, it will take a bid of £15 million to convince the Magpies to part with their long-serving striker. Anyone wishing to take Gayle on loan, however, will have to stump up his costly £50,000-a-week wages.

That makes Gayle, a striker who has never fully convinced in the Premier League, a major risk for a team whose top flight status is on the line with four months to go until the end of the campaign.

The 29-year-old has a superb track record in the Championship, netting 23 times for Aston Villa’s local rivals West Brom during a loan spell at the Hawthorns last season, but it feels rather unlikely that he is capable of improving on the injured Wesley Moraes as Villa’s number nine.

Dwight Gayle of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Semi Final: First Leg match between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park on May 11, 2019 in...

Nonetheless, manager Smith is a confirmed admirer by a player who has grown tired with life on the Newcastle bench.

"He's a very good player,” Smith told the Birmingham Mail of Gayle last year. "At this level, I've said before, when he plays down the middle he can go and score 25/30 goals as he did with Newcastle a couple of years ago.

"He's a threat when you've got the ball as well because he's such an outlet for them with his pace and trickery.”

Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle looks on from the bench wearing a wooly hat during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns on November 28,...

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