Long-serving Newcastle United star given green light to leave club this summer

Dwight Gayle is searching for another club after six years at Newcastle United.
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Eddie Howe has confirmed ­Dwight Gayle is free to leave Newcastle United this summer after holding honest talks with the striker.

The 32-year-old, who signed a new three-year contract last summer, made just eight appearances for the Magpies last season, all of which came as a substitute.

When returning for pre-season on July 1, Gayle was told to link up with United’s second string after discussions took place with Howe at the end of last season.

With Callum Wilson and Chris Wood ahead of Gayle in the pecking order – and that excludes a new striker that Howe hopes to recruit – the former Crystal Palace man was told to find a new club.

“I’ve had a couple of conversations with Dwight,” Howe told the local media in Austria. “At the end of last season, we had a good conversation, and made him aware of the situation, for his own benefit, so he could take his career into its next phase.

“I was very honest with him. I said from day one, from my perspective, I had a great relationship with him, and I love working with him. He was brilliant for the team last year, and because of all those things, he deserved the utmost respect and honesty from me about the how the future lay for him, and I wanted to give him the best chance to find his next home.

“I really hope he goes on and has a great season next year, and I wish him nothing but success.”

United have managed to offload Isaac Hayden (Norwich City), Freddie Woodman (Preston North End) Jeff Hendrick (Reading) and Ciaran Clark (Sheffield United) to Championship clubs this summer.

Gayle, a proven goal scorer in England’s second-tier, has attracted plenty of interest from teams in that division.

As it is with Gayle however, the striker is on sizeable wages at Newcastle so will need to come to a financial compromise.

Howe is confident the former Peterborough United star will find a new club this summer instead of rotting in the under-23s for the upcoming campaign.

“I don’t see that outcome for Dwight,” Howe said when asked if Gayle would remain in the reserves if a move elsewhere didn’t materialise.

“I certainly hope that’s not the outcome for Dwight, because I wouldn’t want that for him. He doesn’t deserve that. He deserves to play and showcase his skills. He’s got a lot to offer the game.

“I still believe he’s one of the best finishers I’ve ever worked with, and he’s guaranteed goals. It’s just I have to be fair to him, and I’ve got a big squad to carry. I only want to keep players if I can give them an opportunity to play.”

Gayle has played 122 times for Newcastle, scoring 34.