Premier League club set to rival Norwich and Fulham in race for in-demand Dwight Gayle as Newcastle United striker's exit edges closer
In the last two weeks loan club West Brom, where he spent last season, scoring 24 goals for the Championship outfit, have ruled themselves out of the running for the player, but Fulham and newly-promoted Norwich City have appeared to deal themselves in.
And, according to the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are set to rival that duo this summer for the striker United value in the region of £20million.
Gayle is unlikely to feature at United next season, with manager Rafa Benitez, who remains locked in contract negotiations with the club's hierarchy, likely to look to replace the frontman, whose goals helped fire the Magpies back to the top flight in 2016/17.
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Some had hoped United could strike some kind of deal, as they did last summer, to allow Baggies loan striker Salomon Rondon to remain at St James's Park, but Aston Villa's two-legged Championship play-off win over West Brom put an end to those hopes with the club insisting they would no longer pay Premier League wages, until the again reached the top flight.
Benitez remains keen to sign Rondon on a permanent deal but the major sticking point in that deal, and one of the many in the protracted contract talks, is the fee wanted by Albion for the Venezuelan striker.
Rondon turns 30 later this year and has a release clause in his West Brom contract of £16.5million.
That fee was also quoted last year but the United hierarchy did not bite at the price, due mainly to the player's age and a perception that his value will only decrease. It remains to be seen whether they will do so this summer.
United's squad looks set for a total revamp with Spanish reserve striker Joselu, cut out of the first-team picture by Benitez at the back end of the season, could be on his way out.
Alaves have shown an interest in the German-born former Real Madrid youth product.
United's top-scorer from last season, Ayoze Perez, has also been attracting admiring glances from across the continent.
The likes of Inter Milan and Napoli have been linked in recent months, although the player is understood to want to have a crack at La Liga in the future.
Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur are the latest club to be linked with the player, three years after a failed attempt to sign Perez following United's relegation to the Championship.
Mauricio Pochettino is a long-time admirer of former Spain under-21 international Perez.