The 32-year-old has been on the fringes of the first team at St James’ Park and with the arrival of Chris Wood in January not exactly helping his cause, the ex-West Bromwich talisman was linked with a move away from Tyneside even before this summer.
Nottingham Forest and the Baggies have both been linked with a move for the forward in recent months – but the former’s interest may have cooled following their promotion to the Premier League.
Quiz: Are these 20 Middlesbrough transfer facts true or false?
It’s known that they are keen on pursuing a permanent agreement for Aston Villa’s Keinan Davis after seeing him make a good impression at the City Ground and reportedly have other irons in the fire as well including Artem Dovbyk.
Boro are another side in need of strengthening their forward area after seeing Andraz Sporar, Aaron Connolly and Folarin Balogun all departing Teesside on the expiration and Uche Ikpeazu unlikely to be in Chris Wilder’s plans.
Their interest in Gayle was first reported by talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook yesterday and according to the Daily Mail, they are now engaging in talks with the 32-year-old in a bid to take him to North Yorkshire.
After failing to get the best out of Connolly and Balogun, Boro may be well served signing a more experienced and proven goalscorer at this level, potentially giving them the firepower needed to force their way into the play-offs.
Ideally though, a loan deal should be negotiated because it will be cheaper for Wilder’s side and it’s unlikely that they will be able to generate a huge fee for his services in the future if they were to recruit him permanently.
That will allow the club to address other areas with the eight-figure fee they are likely to get for Djed Spence, with a new first-choice goalkeeper certainly needed, a wing-back option, another forward or two and more depth in other areas.
Getting that goalkeeping option right could be crucial because they lost points through unforced errors last term and in the end, that may have proven to be costly to their top-six hopes, though collective responsibility should be taken for their poor form in the latter stages of the season.
A cheap loan agreement for Gayle so they can focus on recruiting a top-quality shot-stopper would be ideal – but they may need to pay a loan fee and some of his wages if they are to bring him in.