Newcastle plot shock move for Premier League England international - report
By Matt Farr
Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has emerged as a shock transfer target for his former club Newcastle – according to a report.
Townsend left St. James’ Park to join Crystal Palace just six months ago in a £13m transfer, but the Daily Mail claim Newcastle are mulling over a potential deal to bring him back this month.
Given his short spell at Selhurst Park, a potential deal would come as a shock, although Townsend does appear to have fallen out of favour at the Premier League club.
The England international has made 21 appearances in all competitions this season, but was dropped by former Eagles boss Alan Pardew earlier in the campaign after asking to play in his preferred right-wing position.
He has featured in every game under Sam Allardyce, but has yet to complete a full 90 minutes for the club this season since the defeat to Burnley on November 5.
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Meanwhile, the recent arrival of Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester could see Townsend play more of a part-time role in the first-team.
Newcastle are in the market for a midfield player this month, and Rafa Benitez could seek a reunion with a player he reluctantly sold in the summer.
The 25-year-old had a release clause in his contract which was activated by Palace when Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League, and at the time, remaining in the top-flight was the only option for Townsend.
It is not yet known if he would be willing to drop back down to the Championship, but he would retain his status as a key player at St. James’ Park should he decide to move.
Football Insider verdict
Townsend would be an excellent addition to Benitez’s Newcastle squad. They could do with a bit more quality in the wider areas in their bid to win their place back in the top-flight, particularly in the absence of Christian Atsu and Mo Diame for AFCON. Crystal Palace should really be looking to keep Townsend as he is a decent player, but if he is indeed not a part of Sam Allardyce’s plans, then chances are he will likely be sold. Either a loan move or a permanent deal would benefit Newcastle, as Townsend could do a job for them both in the second-tier and the top-flight. He recorded four goals and two assists during his 13 games for them last term, a tally you would expect him to better in the Championship. Benitez valued Townsend as a player and should attempt to re-sign him this month.
In other Newcastle transfer news, this Newcastle player is undergoing a medical ahead of his departure from the club.