London - Dwight Gayle, who was Crystal Palace's club record signing two years ago, has no future at Selhurst Park and is free to leave but the striker does want to join Bristol City, manager Alan Pardew said on Friday.
The pacy 25-year-old, who joined Palace from Peterborough United for a then club record fee of £4.5 million in August 2013, was the club's top scorer last season with 10 goals in all competitions despite being regularly left out of the side by Pardew after the manager arrived in January.
City, back in the Championship after two years in the third tier, have agreed an £8 million deal with Palace, but Gayle, who battled his way back up through the lower leagues after being released by Arsenal as a teenager, does not want to drop down to the second tier, Pardew revealed.
"Dwight last year was a little bit upset he wasn't involved in the first team and quite rightly. This is a guy who has got 20 goals in him," Pardew said. "It's difficult sometimes to fit him in to the way I play.
"He then came and saw me at the start of the season and expressed a view to move elsewhere. Well I'm in such a great position with the players I have, 'OK, that's fine with me and we'll try and get you a club'.
"Now there is a club and there is a reluctance to go. The ball is firmly in Dwight's court but as far as I'm concerned this is a player that is perhaps going to go.
"It's about the boy understanding the best scenario for him. At the moment, it's not here."
Newly promoted Premier League club Bournemouth, Fulham and Middlesbrough have expressed an interest in the player.