For a while it looked like Dwight Gayle would be key to any permanent deal for Salomon Rondon.
The Venezuelan was a massive hit at St James’ Park, while Gayle once again scored more than 20 goals in the Championship for the Baggies. We both struck gold with last summer’s swap deal.
It seemed inevitable that West Brom would want to sign the 28-year-old permanently, making a deal for Rondon more likely.
But things have taken a turn. Baggies director Luke Dowling has discussed Gayle’s future at the Hawthorns, and it’s bad news for all involved.
“Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract,” he told BBC West Midlands.
“We will pay Premier League contracts but only when we are 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 are doing everything right for this football club.”
More clubs will come in for Gayle
While West Brom have distanced themselves, there’ll surely be more teams interested in Gayle.
If you need a striker to score goals in the second tier, there aren’t many better. This season he scored 24 times to be West Brom’s top scorer. When Newcastle were in the Championship, Gayle managed 23 goals.
He’d be an expensive signing for a Championship club, but he’ll pay for himself if his goals result in promotion. They nearly did for West Brom this season.
Rondon’s price is set. It’ll cost £16.5million to bring him back to St James’ Park, but we already face competition from Wolves and West Ham.
Gayle could have been used to our advantage, but that is no longer an option. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to sell the striker, and it certainly shouldn’t mean we don’t sign Rondon.
West Brom are the ones who are missing out here, not Newcastle. But you can’t blame them for being sensible with their money ahead of another year in the Championship.