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12th Feb, 2017 | 12:04pm

Newcastle to reignite January interest in PL winger (not Townsend) - reports

By Will Butcher

Newcastle are set to act on their reported January interest by entering the summer market for Swansea ace Jefferson Montero, according to a report.

Sports site HITC claimed in January that the Toon were eyeing a move for the 62-time Ecuador international, as they continually looked to add width throughout last month’s transfer window.

Despite failing to land him, the Sun’s transfer expert Alan Nixon claimed in his Sunday column (page 61) that Newcastle were set to rival Ligue 1 side Nice for Montero in the summer.

Montero is currently out of favour at Swansea since the arrival of new manager Paul Clement, with the likes of Wayne Routledge, Luciano Narsingh and Nathan Dyer ahead of him in the pecking order.

Newcastle are in desperate need of additions out wide. Matt Ritchie is the only winger in the squad whose future is not in doubt.

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Christian Atsu’s loan deal ends in the summer, while Yoan Gouffran and Sammy Ameobi’s contracts have both entered their final six months.

Montero, 27, has made just 12 appearances in all competitions this season, totalling a tiny 431 minutes of action and is yet to find the back of the net this term.

Football Insider verdict:

Proven Premier League quality is the order of the day for manager Rafa Benitez. A point clear at the top of the Championship and seven points clear of the play-offs, the Toon are closing in on an instant return to the top flight after last season’s relegation. With former Liverpool boss Benitez looking to solidify the Magpies’ place in the top flight next term, signing a player like Montero could be crucial to their survival hopes. The former Villarreal ace has made 64 appearance in England’s top flight and has always threatened to burst into life at Swansea, without ever reaching the heights his talents have promised. However, the Toon must move quickly as the potential lure of Champions League or Europa League football at Nice could tempt Montero. Given a choice though, newcastle fans would prefer their other reported January target – Andros Townsend.

In other Newcastle transfer news, this senior figure has been linked with Arsenal.

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