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Slaven Bilic arrival leads to West Brom u-turn on Salomon Rondon and Dwight Gayle swap – Report

4 months ago
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Last season, Dwight Gayle was West Brom’s top scorer with an impressive 24 Championship goals, having started only 34 games.

On top of that West Brom fans voted the Newcastle loan striker their player of the year and he also picked up the award for goal of the season.

It would have surely have been an automatic decision to make the move permanent, if only they had won promotion.

A largely self-inflicted defeat over two legs to Aston Villa in the play-off semi-finals ending those hopes, Dwight Gayle not helping with a red card in the first leg, meaning he missed the key return game.

Within hours of that defeat, the loan striker’s future looked to have been sealed where the Baggies were concerned.

On 20 May 2019 West Brom’s Sporting and Technical Director Luke Dowling announced:

“Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract. 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. We don’t want to keep players on big contracts and then have to lay off normal staff and make people redundant.’

That announcement also appearing to make the likelihood of Salomon Rondon signing permanently at Newcastle, a less likely one. Newcastle fans believing that the best/only chance of Mike Ashley allowing a deal to buy Rondon who turns 30 in September, was is if some kind of swap deal involving Dwight Gayle could be done. The idea of Ashley allowing a stand alone deal that would see £16.5m paid for Rondon plus a three or four year big wages contract, unlikely to happen.

However, claims on Sunday morning that the appointment of Slaven Bilic may have led to West Brom doing a u-turn.

The former West Ham manager was appointed on Thursday and The Mail say that Bilic is desperate to keep Dwight Gayle, seeing him as the key player for a promotion bid.

They say that the new West Brom boss has instigated new talks to take place, which could see them now sign Gayle on a permanent deal.

The newspaper saying that it would all depend on it being part of a bigger deal that would see Salomon Rondon signing permanently at Newcastle.

It isn’t inconceivable that West Brom could be prepared to allow one big deal for a player such as Gayle, if the new manager sees him as essential to their promotion hopes. We are waiting on clarity at Newcastle on both the owner and manager’s position but assuming Rafa does stay on and wants Rondon, any swap deal would surely depend on how much Newcastle were prepared to bend in helping to make any Dwight Gayle overall deal financially viable for West Brom.

The Mag – 20 May 2019:

Dwight Gayle was forced to sit out the game that decided West Brom’s future.

Unlucky to be sent off in the first leg of the play-off semi-final after scoring in a 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa, the Newcastle loan striker was forced to sit and watch as the Baggies lost on penalties.

That shootout failure has also decided Gayle’s immediate future.

West Brom’s Sporting and Technical Director Luke Dowling revealing that a decision has been made now the loan spell is ending.

Dowling says that he knows it will be not what West Brom fans want to hear but they are definitely not buying Dwight Gayle.

The Sporting Director explaining: ‘Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract. We will pay Premier League contracts but only when we are back in the Premier League.’

This is a massive blow for Baggies fans as they had named him player of the year, scorer of the goal of the season, after he finished top scorer with 24 Championship goals.

Hardly a massive surprise really, when you look at how West Brom approached the season just gone after relegation.

They only spent £11m last summer and made a £13m profit on transfers when selling £24m worth of players. The club’s recruitment revolving around two free transfers and seven loans, which included Dwight Gayle.

There had been much debate amongst Newcastle fans as to how West Brom’s play-off campaign would affect the chances of NUFC buying Salomon Rondon.

With now no possibility of a swap deal for Dwight Gayle, West Brom failing doesn’t appear to have helped.

West Brom’s Sporting and Technical Director Luke Dowling talking to BBC West Midlands about Dwight Gayle:

“Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract.

“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.

“We don’t want to keep players on big contracts and then have to lay off normal staff and make people redundant.

“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.”

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