By Sam Stone

20th Jul, 2022 | 8:26pm

West Brom-linked Dwight Gayle close to permanent Stoke City move - John Percy

Stoke City are closing in on a deal to sign Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle and in turn, deliver a transfer blow to Steve Bruce and West Brom.

The Telegraph’s John Percy revealed (via Twitter) on Wednesday 20 July that the 32-year-old former West Brom loanee has completed the first part of his Stoke City medical.

This will come as a huge blow to Bruce with The Northern Echo reporting (8 July) that the Baggies had held talks over a Hawthorns’ return for the prolific Championship striker.

This feels like a big blow for the Baggies with Gayle enjoying one of the most prolific spells of his career with West Brom scoring 24 goals and assisting eight times for in the 2018/19 season.

His connections to the club should’ve put Bruce in a strong place to bring the striker back to The Hawthorns.

A new striker has to be one of Bruce’s top priorities heading into the 2022/23 Championship season with there being a severe lack of firepower at The Hawthorns in the 2021/22 season.

Gayle is a proven Championship goalscorer who has never been able to replicate his second-tier form in the Premier League.

Bruce should’ve been moving heaven and earth to bring the forward back to the club.

The 32-year-old may not have been keen to reunite with Bruce after his spell at Newcastle or finances could well have played a part in his decision to move to Stoke.

Players may well have to leave The Hawthorns before any new additions are added to Bruce’s squad.

In other West Brom news, Bruce has made demands to one of his Championship rivals as they chase a deal to sign another Albion attacker.

Be sure to follow West Brom News on Facebook for 24/7 updates from The Hawthorns during the 2022 summer transfer window