By Harry Sykes

Newcastle and Crystal Palace are only £2million apart in their valuations of Andros Townsend, according to a reliable journalist.

Sky Sports’ north-east correspondent Keith Downie took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to report that the two clubs are closing in on an agreement for Townsend to make a sensational return to St James’ Park this month.

Downie reported on his personal Twitter account that it will cost Newcastle £15million to loan back Townsend and then buy him permanently in the summer.

Palace are holding out for a £2million loan fee until the end of the season, supplemented by the £13million release clause in his the winger’s contract paid in full during the next window.

Payment of the relatively meagre loan charge would enable Newcastle to tie up an agreement before Tuesday night’s cut-off.

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With Townsend said to be keen reuniting with Rafael Benitez for a second spell at St James’ Park, there is a growing sense that a deal can be done even if negotiations drag on into deadline day.

Palace signed Townsend last summer after activating the £13million release clause in his Newcastle contract just six months after he joined from Tottenham.

The London club are keen to make a profit on the Spurs academy product, who has had a mixed campaign back in his home city.

He has been a starter for most of his debut campaign but has recently been axed from the line-up by both new manager Sam Allardyce and his predecessor Alan Pardew.

Townsend has made 25 appearances in all competitions this season, 20 of which have been starts, but has scored only a single goal and supplied three assists.

The much-travelled wide man, who had 10 loan spell while at Spurs, could now be heading straight back to St James’ Park after being made aware of interest from Benitez.

In other Newcastle transfer news, the club have tabled a staggering club-record bid.

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