Dwight Gayle: West Brom opt not to make Newcastle United striker's signing permanent

Dwight Gayle had a cracking season for West Bromwich Albion with 24 goals but his final act was making the long walk at Villa Park after his red card in the Championship play-off semi-final first leg
Dwight Gayle scored 24 goals for West Brom but was sent off at Villa Park in the Championship play-off semi-final first leg

West Bromwich Albion have opted not to sign Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle following his season on loan with the Championship play-off semi-finalists.

Gayle arrived on a swap loan deal with Salomon Rondon last August - and it had been anticipated that both players might stay on.

But, while Rondon may yet remain at Newcastle, Albion will not sign Gayle.

"Dwight's contract is a Premier League contract," Albion technical director Luke Dowling told BBC WM.

"We will pay Premier League contracts but only when we are back in the Premier League.

"I know it won't be the news Albion fans want to hear, but they need to trust us and know we are doing everything right for this football club."

In the wake of recent events at other English Football League clubs, notably at Birmingham City and relegated Bolton Wanderers, Albion are determined to stay within realistic budgets.

"We don't want to keep players on big contracts and then have to lay off normal staff and make people redundant," added Dowling.

"We have good people behind the scenes. We want to do that and still have a really competitive wage bill on the pitch, which we will have next year."

Former Peterborough United and Crystal Palace striker Gayle, 28, ended up with 24 goals for Albion - a season's best total - just outscoring strike partner Jay Rodriguez, who got 22.

Only three Championship strikers scored more goals - Norwich's Teemu Pukki (29), Aston Villa loan man Tammy Abraham (26) and Brentford's Neal Maupay (25).

But Gayle's season was soured when, after putting Albion ahead in the play-off semi-final first leg at Villa Park, he rashly got sent off and missed the second leg at The Hawthorns.

Rondon keen to remain on Tyneside

While Gayle scored 24 goals for Albion, Rondon got half that many in his first season in the famous Newcastle number nine shirt, scoring 12 times, 11 of them in the league.

There is clamour among home fans for the 29-year-old Venezuela international to stay, after being voted Newcastle's player of the year.

And, although there is a reported £16.5m release clause in his existing Albion contract, the only clear conclusion to be drawn so far is that, if he does stay on at Newcastle, Gayle will not be used as a makeweight.

"I'm here, I'm really happy - I scored goals, I assisted the team," he told Newcastle's club website.

"The supporters singing my name - that was a special moment for me.

"I did my job, and this is the reason the gaffer brought me here - to help the team. But we have to wait and we will see what happens."

West Brom technical director Luke Dowling was talking to BBC WM's Rob Gurney.

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