Cottagers to rivals Baggies for Gayle deal
Fulham will reportedly look to snatch Newcastle's Dwight Gayle from under West Brom's noses by using Tom Cairney as part of a deal.
The 29-year-old striker joined West Brom on a season-long loan from the Magpies last summer in a deal that saw Venezuela international Salomon Rondon head in the opposite direction on loan.
Gayle has enjoyed a strong season in the Championship with 21 goals to his name from 35 league appearances to date as the Baggies look set to feature in the end-of-season play-offs.
The former Crystal Palace man has recently revealed that he would be happy to stay put at the Hawthorns beyond this season.
However, that could be determined on which division the Baggies are plying their trade in because an immediate return to the Premier League could see Rondon make a return to the club.
Alternatively, if West Brom agree to let Rondon stay with the Magpies on a permanent basis, Gayle would no doubt relish the chance to stay put and play in the top flight again in what would be a straight swap between the clubs.
However, if Albion remain in the second tier, Fulham are thought to be keen on taking Gayle back to his native London as they look for a proven Championship striker to replace Aleksandar Mitrovic, who looks certain to depart now the club's relegation has been confirmed.
Newcastle have expressed a desire to sign Cottagers' midfielder, Cairney, in the past and reports suggest they might use that interest to try and sway a deal for Gayle in their favour.
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.