By Wayne Veysey

9th Sep, 2020 | 11:22am

Exclusive: Newcastle offering attacker surprise new contract

Newcastle United are set to offer Dwight Gayle a new contract even though he’s set to be sidelined until December, Football Insider can reveal.

The striker has entered the final year of his contract and could leave on a free next summer or agree a pre-contract with an overseas club in January.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that the club are planning to keep hold of Gayle and will offer him a new deal rather than risk losing him for nothing.

The forward’s current agreement expires next June, by which time he will have turned 30.

A new deal is a surprise given his injury record and mixed Newcastle record but club chiefs want to protect the market value of someone they see as a real asset.

Gayle has yet to truly establish himself as consistent goalscorer or regular starter at Premier League level but is a feared poacher and has an outstanding record in the lower leagues.

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Football Insider broke the news last month that Gayle would be out for three months after scans revealed the extent of the knee damage sustained in a pre-season friendly.

That was a key factor in Steve Bruce pushing for the signing of Callum Wilson from Bournemouth that was confirmed on Monday in a £20m deal.

The United manager is still relatively thin on options up front as his only other senior spearheads are misfiring Joelinton and veteran Andy Carroll, whose availability is likely to be limited.

Gayle banged in four Premier League goals from eight matches at the end of last season and had started to establish himself as the first choice up front.

The spearhead joined Newcastle from Crystal Palace in 2016 and has 33 goals in 93 appearances for the north-east giants without quite matching his Championship exploits in the top flight.

In other news, Alex McLeish has revealed he’s spoken to Newcastle United ‘warrior’ desperate to quit the club.