By Harry Sykes
Newcastle’s bid to secure the sensational return of Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace advanced over the weekend, according to a report.
The Mail claim the two clubs are “continuing negotiations” over a proposed deal for Townsend to re-join the Magpies this month.
It is said that Townsend is “open” to a second spell at Newcastle but would initially prefer a loan move until the end of the season.
The Mail report that the England international “would then like to take stock of his situation in the summer” when he will know which leagues the club are playing in next season.
The terms of the proposed deal are being discussed with Palace keen to recoup the £13million they paid for Townsend last summer.
The London club are due to pay the next £3million instalment from that fee this month but that could form part of a loan fee.
Newcastle are second in the Championship and challenging strongly for an instant return to the Premier League, while Palace are in the bottom three of the top flight and fighting to avoid relegation.
Townsend, 25, left the north east just six months after joining from Tottenham in a £12million transfer in the last January window.
He played in 13 encounters for Newcastle, 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.
On the face of it, it initially appeared 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 flight.
But the chances of a sensational deal being pushed through have increased during the past 10 days, with the player potentially on the move for a third consecutive window.
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.