Premier League new boys Aston Villa have already received some competition in their pursuit of Dwight Gayle, according to the Birmingham Mail.

The Villans are chasing the Newcastle United star this summer to replace Tammy Abraham, who it looks like will be staying at Chelsea next term and not returning to Villa Park.

However it appears as though Fulham are going to rival any Villa bid for the striker, with a fee of £20 million being touted about for his services.

Villans boss Dean Smith knows that he has to add firepower to his ranks if his side are going to survive beyond their first season back in the Premier League, and the Newcastle man is someone he wants.

Gayle had a successful loan spell with West Bromwich Albion last season, ironically assisting Villa in their promotion quest when he was dismissed in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final between the two, rendering him suspended for the return game which the Villa Park outfit won on penalties.

The striker has a very good record in the second tier of English football, but his statistics in the Premier League do not make quite the same reading, which would be a concern for Villans fans should they sign the non-league graduate.

While Villa are yet to place an offer for Gayle, it appears that Fulham have got the bidding underway with a £20m move for the former Crystal Palace star, which will make Smith think long and hard about whether to approach Newcastle over a potential transfer.

Having secured promotion back to the Premier League, the Villans do have cash to spend, and have already been flexing their muscles in the market this summer, but whether they would want to pay such a large fee to a possible direct rival next term remains to be seen.

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