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Revealed: Newcastle’s shifting transfer policy

Newcastle United’s decision to hold on to Dwight Gayle represents further proof of a change in approach from the Magpies hierarchy – who will are prepared to let the striker enter the final year of his deal without immediate plans to cash in.

The forward was nearly sold to West Brom last summer and there is plenty of interest in him again this close season. But Newcastle’s approach of “boxing clever” in the transfer market – in Steve Bruce’s words – appears to include further relaxation of the under 25 policy that has been the club’s mantra for years.

Last summer Gayle was available and while this year’s stance would be tested by a big bid, Bruce feels the player can still contribute.

A £5million loan fee and £15million deal had been agreed with the Baggies in 2019 and, even though his value has dropped due to being in the final year of his deal, United could still command a decent fee for Gayle.

Instead it looks as though they will give him a chance to continue on his good form post-lockdown. Gayle is 30 in October but the club are open to the idea of extending his deal if he can prove himself, just as they did with Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey. Federico Fernandez also got a contract extension.

Steve Bruce has argued that there is a real need for experienced professionals to help the club’s younger players.

Newcastle always insisted that there was room to be flexible in their policy, but Rafa Benitez – famously – couldn’t convince them to fund a big move for a permanent deal for Salomon Rondon.

Although any big outlays would still need to have re-sale, with Jeff Hendrick joining at the age of 28 on a longer deal there are signs of Newcastle pushing the boundaries further to support their head coach.

It’s understood Bruce has other targets in that age bracket are consideration.