STEVE BRUCE will spend the next two days trying to persuade Dwight Gayle that his future lies with Newcastle United despite a flurry of renewed interest in the striker from clubs in the Championship.

Officials from West Brom and Leeds United have been in touch with the Newcastle hierarchy in the last 24 hours to discuss the possibility of signing Gayle ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Bruce does not want to lose the 29-year-old, who spent the whole of last season on loan at the Hawthorns, but accepts it would be difficult to retain Gayle if he was to express a desire to leave.

The pair are set to discuss the situation later today, with Bruce hoping to persuade the striker that he will have a genuine opportunity to force his way into the first-team picture if he opts to remain on Tyneside beyond Thursday’s 5pm deadline.

Gayle is understood to be concerned that he could find himself at the bottom of Newcastle’s pecking order if he stays with the Magpies this season.

Joelinton is a guaranteed starter in the wake of his club-record move from Hoffenheim, and Bruce is expected to play the Brazilian alongside Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin once the trio are all fully up to speed.

Yoshinori Muto has impressed on the training ground this summer, and is regarded as an appealing option from the substitutes’ bench, meaning Gayle, who ceded his number nine shirt to Joelinton, is effectively Newcastle’s fifth-choice forward.

However, Bruce, who is still confident of landing a new right-back before the window swings shut, is adamant the former Crystal Palace forward will get opportunities to impress and would like to include him in the 25-man squad that has to be submitted to the Premier League.

Gayle and his representatives are aware of the mounting interest from clubs in the second tier, with West Brom keen to engineer a repeat of the loan move that proved so successful last season.

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Gayle scored 24 goals for the Baggies last season, and while West Brom officials claimed he was out of their price range earlier this summer, the financial situation at the Hawthorns has changed in the wake of a raft of sales that have raised around £30m. The departure of the likes of Jay Rodriguez, Salamon Rondon, Gareth Barry and James Morrison has significantly reduced the wage bill, meaning another move for Gayle is now feasible.

Leeds have also made a number of inquiries as they look to secure a replacement for Kemar Roofe, who completed a £7m move to Belgian side Anderlecht yesterday.

The Elland Road club have also been linked with Argentinian forward Facundo Colidio, but Gayle is regarded as a much safer option given his proven track record in the Championship.

Newcastle are anticipating a number of departures in the next two days, with a raft of fringe players available for either sale or loan.

Jack Colback, Henri Saivet and Achraf Lazaar are all surplus to requirements, while the Magpies would also listen to offers for Javier Manquillo if they were able to bring in a new right-back before the window closes.

Sweden international Emil Krafth remains their leading target, although negotiations with Amiens could go right to the wire, with the French club currently holding out for at least €7m.

Newcastle had an offer of around £4.5m rejected last week, but remain hopeful of engineering an agreement in sufficient time for a deal to go through. Ahmed Elmohamady has been touted as a potential alternative, but a deal for the 31-year-old Egyptian is extremely unlikely.

Newcastle kick off the new Premier League season at home to Arsenal on Sunday, and the Gunners are set to have two of their leading attacking talents in their squad.

Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe are expected to be available for the weekend despite having been forced to sit out Arsenal’s final pre-season friendly at Barcelona on Sunday.

Lacazette is nearing the end of his recovery from an ankle problem, while Pepe, a £72m summer signing from Lyon, will take part in full training this week after Arsenal boss Unai Emery gave him an extended break following his international exertions with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.