Newly relegated Fulham have identified Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle as the man to fire them back into the Premier League.
The Evening Standard claim Scott Parker wants the Newcastle man, or Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga, to replace the outgoing Aleksander Mitrovic.
Gayle had a successful spell at Championship side West Brom last season. He finished as the Baggies’ top scorer with 24 goals, and helped the Midlands side reach the play-offs.
Albion’s failure to secure promotion saw them admit defeat in their bid to sign Gayle permanently. West Brom admitted they were not able to compete with Gayle’s wage demands.
Fulham will be better placed to put a competitive package to Gayle’s representatives. Parachute payments and any fee received from the probable sale of Mitrovic will help the Cottagers.
Gayle’s prolific scoring in the Championship has him in demand.
Gayle is still likely to be surplus to requirements at St James’ Park, with doubts remaining over his ability to score consistently in the Premier League.
There has never been any doubt about his prowess in the Championship though.
Gayle’s 24 goals at the Hawthorns last season was one more than the 23 he scored with Newcastle in the same division.
Compare that to the six he scored in the 2017/2018 Premier League season.
Prior to joining the Magpies, he netted just three times for Crystal Palace in the top tier.
But for Parker, the target is an immediate promotion, and certainly Gayle is the player to help them achieve that.