Noel Whelan has heard Leeds United may make a late swoop to sign Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle as a replacement for Kemar Roofe.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United front man is convinced Gayle would be a “brilliant signing” for the Championship big hitters as they look to secure a top-two finish this season.
The striker, 28, is back at parent club Newcastle after an outstanding season on loan at West Brom, and new manager Steve Bruce has insisted he is part of his plans for the campaign.
Whelan believes Leeds need a proven scorer to replace Roofe, who is putting the finishing touches to a transfer to Anderlecht in Belgium.
“I’m hearing the name of Dwight Gayle, so that shouldn’t be ruled out,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He’s been bandied about now and again all summer, and if we could get him, it would be a brilliant signing.
“We need a proven goalscorer to replace Kemar Roofe, and we can’t afford to take a chance on someone. The new striker has to be someone with a proven record and you can’t get better in the Championship than Dwight Gayle. He is a 25-goal-a-season scorer at that level.
“We know Bielsa likes him as he can play on the wing, as he did for West Brom at times last season, or through the middle, and Bielsa likes that kind of versatility.
“Steve Bruce has come out and said Gayle is part of his plans, but hopefully that is a smokescreen.”
Gayle has an exceptional scoring record in the Championship, netting 24 goals from 41 matches for Albion last season as well as 23 goals in 32 games in Newcastle’s successful promotion campaign in 2016-17.
He has fared less successfully in the Premier League, which could mean he departs before Thursday’s transfer cut-off.
In other Leeds United news, Marcelo Bielsa is freezing out senior outfield international and wants him gone this month.