By Matt Farr

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has confirmed star goalscorer Dwight Gayle is back in training and close to a return to action.

As quoted by Chronicle reporter Lee Ryder on his personal Twitter account, Benitez revealed that the 25-year-old was ‘very, very close’ to making his long-awaited return.

Gayle has been out of action for Newcastle since suffering a hamstring injury during the win over Brentford on January 14, and his goalscoring input has been greatly missed.

The former Crystal Palace man has netted 20 goals in just 22 league games this season.

With deputy goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic also out of action for much of January, Benitez was left with Daryl Murphy as his only striker option.

However, despite the 33-year-old making a decent contribution, scoring two goals, Newcastle will be jumping at the chance to see their top scorer back in action.

Benitez did not confirm whether Gayle was ready to make an appearance as early as this weekend, as his side prepares to take on Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.

In other Newcastle news, Grant Hanley has revealed why Newcastle sit at the top of the Championship table.

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