Crystal Palace have opened talks with Dwight Gayle over a new contract, just weeks after he appeared set to leave the club.
The 25-year-old has been at Selhurst Park since the capital club lured him from Peterborough United two years ago for a fee of around £3.5million, which marked an impressive rise for a player who had to drop down into the Conference North to show his potential. This was when he scored 29 goals in 42 games for Bishop’s Stortford, whilst contracted to Dagenham & Redbridge.
Since joining Palace, Gayle has enjoyed spells of good form for the first team ,the most famous of which came when he hit a brace in a stunning 3-3 draw which dented Liverpool’s title hopes in 2014. Indeed, he is known to be the best finisher at the club, but Alan Pardew was prepared to let him leave in the summer when Bristol City had an offer of £9million accepted for his signature.
This would have meant Gayle, who failed to make the grade when on youth forms at Arsenal, dropping down a division so he opted to remain with the Eagles. Norwich City, newly promoted to the Premier League, were also willing to match the price offered by the Robins, but this was rejected as Glenn Murray had earlier joined Bournemouth so options would have been limited.
Since the window closed the striker has scored a hat-trick against Charlton Athletic in the League Cup, and he made his third league start of the campaign in the win at Watford on Sunday. Gayle is under contract until the end of next season, but Palace have opened talks over a new deal as they look to continue to secure their star assets to long-term futures at Selhurst Park.
Jason Puncheon signed a new contract back in May which ties him to the club until the summer of 2019, and this was followed by Scott Dann and James McArthur who are now committed to the cause until 2020 and 2018 respectively. And Yannick Bolasie, linked with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in recent times, has agreed a new three-year contract worth £40,000-per-week.