By Harry Sykes
Newcastle are pushing strongly to sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace as part of a three-club transfer triangle also involving Stewart Downing and Middlesbrough, according to a reliable journalist.
Guardian Sport’s deputy news editor Ed Aarons took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to reveal that the Magpies are stepping up their pursuit of Townsend from Palace.
Aarons reported on his personal Twitter account that the north-east giants want to sign the winger, 25, on loan for the rest of the season.
This could create a transfer domino in which another England international wide man Stewart Downing transfers from Middlesbrough to Palace, also on loan.
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) January 20, 2017
The Daily Mail revealed on Saturday that Newcastle were plotting a shock move for their former winger Townsend just six months after selling him to Palace for £13million following their relegation to the Championship.
It would appear unlikely that Townsend would want to swap the Premier League for the second tier, especially as he had repeatedly stressed how important it was for him to be playing in the top flights.
But the chances of a sensational deal being pushed through have increased during the week, with the player potentially on the move for a third consecutive window.
Newcastle signed Tottenham academy product Townsend from the north London club last January in a £12million switch.
He played in 13 encounters for the club, bringing a return of four goals and two assists, but he was unable to keep Rafael Benitez’s side from dropping through the relegation trap door.
Townsend subsequently moved to Palace and has been a first-team regular, starting 17 of the team’s 21 league matches.
But the right-winger has scored just one goal and provided two assists for the relegation-threatened London club.
Football Insider verdict:
Benitez has made it clear this month that he is looking to sign players who can thrive in the top flight and Townsend fits into that category. But he has so often flattered to deceive, and it is no coincidence that the best moments of the winger’s career have come in international football when he has more time on the ball. At Premier League level, Townsend is a luxury that some managers would rather do without, Mauricio Pochettino among them. Yes, he can do a job. Yes, he can drive forward with the ball. And, yes, he has a decent left foot. Townsend is a sound option, and should rip it up in the Championship, but the jury is out on his effectiveness in the Premier League.
In other Newcastle transfer news, an emphatic decision has been made on this player tipped to join the Magpies.