Dwight Gayle will not be staying at West Brom permanently after technical director, Luke Dowling, confirmed the club are not in a financial position to keep the striker at the Hawthorns.
The 28-year-old has been at West Brom on loan this season from Newcastle United, helping the Baggies secure fourth in the Championship and a spot in the play-offs.
The loan move has proved successful, with Gayle scoring 24 goals in all competitions, as well as assisting eight after forming a dangerous strike partnership with Jay Rodriguez
However, after West Brom were beaten on penalties by local rivals Aston Villa in the play-off semi-finals, the club will not be able to keep Gayle after missing out on promotion to the Premier League.
Dowling told the Birmingham Mail : “No-one would like to keep Dwight more than myself.
“We can all recognise what he gives us on the pitch and the way he conducts himself off the pitch in the local area – he’s brought his family down from Newcastle for the year, he’s bought into everything we want to do.
“Financially, we were prepared to pay the money for Dwight’s contract for this season. It hasn’t worked out.
“Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract and we will pay Premier League contracts, but we’ll only do that once we’re back in the Premier League.
“I know it won’t be the news Albion fans want to hear, but they need to trust us and know we’re doing everything right for this club.
“We don’t want to keep players on big contracts and have to lay the general staff off and make people redundant.
“We want to keep everyone here because we’ve got good people behind the scenes.”
In return for Gayle’s services, West Brom loaned out Salomon Rondon to Newcastle, with the possibility of a permanent swap deal at the end of the season, but that deal seems to have collapsed.
The loss of a key man could be a big blow for West Brom’s promotion hopes next season, with their top scorer leaving and the transfer status of other star loanees Mason Holgate and Jefferson Montero still unknown.