By Darren Bent

26th Aug, 2020 | 4:58pm

Exclusive: Newcastle told to hold fire on new deal after big Telegraph update

Darren Bent has urged Newcastle United to wait half a season before deciding whether to hand Dwight Gayle a new contract on Tyneside.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Sunderland and England forward suggests the Magpies’ hitman needs to prove he can score on a regular basis after a hit-and-miss four years at the club.

The Telegraph report that Gayle, who has a year left on his contract, is set to stay at St James’ Park this summer despite interest from both Premier League and Championship sides.

Gayle impressed during Newcastle’s games during the Premier League’s project restart, with four goals in eight games for the former Crystal Palace star.

However, Bent is not convinced the striker has proved that Newcastle should tie him down to new terms just yet.

Asked if Gayle had done enough for a new contract, Bent told Football Insider: “I don’t know if he’s done that yet because we’re only talking about a handful of games at the end of the season.

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“I think he’s got to prove for at least half a season that he’s able to be the main man at Newcastle. Before they start doing that, they should probably wait and have a look from there.

“I can understand why Championship teams, especially the ones who have aspirations of getting promoted, would want to get someone like a Dwight Gayle.”

Gayle joined Newcastle from Palace back in 2016 and fired them from the Championship back into the Premier League during his first season at the club.

He has gone on to score a total of 10 Premier League goals for the Magpies and he spent a season on loan at West Brom back in the second tier.

In other Newcastle United news, a top pundit claims the Magpies have pulled off a “great” new signing.