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.
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.”
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