Championship sides Middlesbrough and Stoke City have reportedly entered the race to sign Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle in January.

According to the Football Insider, Middlesbrough and Stoke City have joined a slew of Championship clubs competing for the signature of Newcastle United outcast Dwight Gayle.

The Magpies are actively trying to offload the out-of-favour forward to free up space for reinforcements in the winter market. The 32-year-old has fallen well down the pecking order at St. James’ Park, having not started a Premier League game for Newcastle this campaign, clocking just under 100 minutes of footballing action all season.

Gayle signed for Newcastle in the summer of 2016 from Crystal Palace when they were embarking on life in the second-tier after being freshly relegated from the Premier League. Overall, the former Peterborough frontman had a mixed spell so far in his time at Tyneside.

While he was excellent in the 2016/17 Championship season, scoring 23 goals in 32 league appearances to fire Newcastle to an instant promotion back to the Premier League, his output in the top-flight has largely been underwhelming. Until now, He has produced a return of 11 goals and 6 assists from 76 Premier League appearances for the Magpies showing his incapacities at the top level.

Gayle’s future at Newcastle has been uncertain for quite some time, and he may have to drop down to the second tier in search of regular first-team football. He falls into the category of strikers who are too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier League.

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Having said that, he is a serial Championship goalscorer, the former Crystal Palace attacker has netted 59 times in 100 Championship appearances across his spells with Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion and Peterborough United, which explains why multiple second-tier clubs are interested in signing him as he can prove to be a huge difference-maker in their promotion aspirations.

Gayle’s former loan club West Bromwich Albion have been credited with an interest in him along with Nottingham Forest, and now it seems Middlesbrough and Stoke City have also entered the chase to secure his services.

Boro are under a new regime led by Chris Wilder and are aiming to make an upward surge in the table. Wilder will be looking to bolster his attacking options in the January window, with Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun identified as a potential loan target. But signing a proven veteran in Gayle could be a better alternative as he would provide them with instant goals to give a proper shot at earning a playoff spot.

Stoke City have a very potent strike-partnership of Jacob Brown and Steven Fletcher, with Tyrese Campbell deployed in rotation. They will be looking to consolidate their position in the top six by adding an experienced striker as Dwight Gayle to their current roster.

While Gayle has only got a handful of years left in him and could be tempted by the opportunity in the Championship, his availability will be determined by several factors, including Newcastle’s ability to get a quality replacement. Moreover, he recently signed a new deal with Newcastle on improved salary, making it unaffordable for the typical Championship wage structure. Only time will tell where the 32-year-old leaves in January or stays at Newcastle.

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