Newcastle lead Gray race

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Newcastle are leading a host of Premier League clubs in the race to sign Burnley hitman Andre Gray this summer, according to a former Sky Sports journalist in the Gambling Times.

Graeme Bailey has reported for the betting-based website that Newcastle are hoping to strike a deal in the region of £10million for the 25-year-old, after manager Rafa Benitez and club scouts gave a potential move the thumbs-up.

Gray, who has just one more year left to run on his current contract at Turf Moor, is ‘massively’ keen on a move to Newcastle,and has told Burnley he wants to leave.

Rivals Everton, Southampton, West Ham, West Brom and Watford are also credited by the same source to be interested in pursuing a deal for Gray, but Newcastle remain in the driving seat given his preference for St. James’ Park.

The Burnley striker scored 10 goals from 36 appearances as the Clarets retained their Premier League status for the 2017-18 campaign, but Gray wants a move to a bigger club in order to fight his way into the international side.

Gray has not featured for England at either senior or youth level, but is holding out for a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup next summer, and believes a move would give him a better chance.

Newcastle having been monitoring Gray for months, and they are now said to be ready to step up their interest following their return to the Premier League.

Benitez will be hungry to add a goalscorer with Premier League experience to his ranks this summer, with his current attacking options having largely proved prolific at Championship level.

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