Report: Newcastle set for opportunity to bring former star back to St James' Park
Newcastle are likely to be offered former winger Andros Townsend this summer, after a major U-turn by Crystal Palace, according to a report.
The Chronicle claims that Palace are now thinking of selling Townsend with manager Roy Hodgson looking at bringing on West Ham winger Michail Antonio as his replacement.
That would mean a big U-turn is in the offing, after Palace initially turned down Newcastle’s approach for Townsend, quoting a £20m fee which Benitez couldn’t pay.
It is said that Rafa Benitez and Townsend are still on good terms, despite the player leaving after six months when Palace activated his relegation clause.
The report claims that Kenedy is the priority for Benitez but that Townsend remains an option.
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The 26-year-old winger is one of the best examples of unrequited talent. Townsend has hit his peaks at times throughout his career and scored three goals in 13 caps for England, but he’s faded over the past few years. He made 36 Premier League appearances for Palace last season, scoring two goals and adding eight assists but he’s only been at his best in flashes. A move to Newcastle would give him the chance to resurrect his career and prove that he belongs at the top, but the price would have to be right. There’s no way that Benitez will pay anywhere close to £20million for Townsend, when he’s struggling to find that much for his top striker targets. Townsend is under contract until 2021 so he will cost Newcastle but Palace will have to rip their previous valuation in half if they want to offer him to Benitez. At around £8-£10million he would be a real bargain, but the problem is, Palace might well be able to get more for him elsewhere. That’s the story of Newcastle at the moment, and likely will be until Mike Ashley finally decides to vacate the club.
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