West Brom decide not to offer Dwight Gayle a permanent deal

The 28-year-old is heading back to St. James' Park

West Brom have decided not to offer striker Dwight Gayle a permanent contract at The Hawthorns. Gayle, who spent the season on loan at the West Midlands club, scored 24 goals for the Baggies as they attempted to bounce straight back to the Premier League following relegation to the Championship at the end of last season.

Salomon Rondon was part of the swap deal which brought Gayle to West Brom last summer. The Venezuela striker enjoyed a promising spell at St James' Park this term, scoring 11 goals for the Magpies as they obtained a respectable 13th-place finish in the Premier League.

It looks likely that he will remain put in the North East, despite reported interest from Europa League new boys Wolves, but Gayle won't be remaining at his temporary home in the West Midlands after Albion decided not to offer the 28-year-old a permanent deal.

The club's technical director, Luke Dowling, told Birmingham Mail: "No-one would like to keep Dwight more than myself.

"We can all recognise what he gives us on the pitch and the way he conducts himself off the pitch in the local area – he’s brought his family down from Newcastle for the year, he’s brought into everything we want to do.

"Financially, we were prepared to pay the money for Dwight’s contract for this season. It hasn’t worked out [because we didn’t win promotion].

"Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract and we will pay Premier League contracts, but we’ll only do that once we’re back in the Premier League.

"I know it won’t be the news Albion fans want to hear, but they need to trust us and know we’re doing everything right for this club.

Despite finishing the campaign as West Brom's top goalscorer with 24 goals, Gayle's season ended in disaster after he was sent off in the first leg of the Baggies play-off semi-final defeat to rivals Aston Villa.

The former Crystal Palace striker put Albion in front during the first half of the tie at Villa Park, before picking up two yellow cards after the break, first for time wasting and then for a mistimed collision with Villa keeper Jed Steer.

Dowling added when speaking about the situation to BBC West Midlands: "We don't want to keep players on big contracts and then have to lay off normal staff and make people redundant.

"We have good people behind the scenes. We want to do that and still have a really competitive wage bill on the pitch, which we will have next year."


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