By Amir Mir
Newcastle are hoping to finally land Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend by offering the London club defender Chancel Mbemba in a swap deal, according to a report.
Sky Sports claim that the Magpies are in discussions with Palace over the possibility of swapping Mbemba for their former player.
It is said Rafa Benitez’ side are very keen to re-sign Townsend and have offered Palace the centre-back to help with their defensive troubles.
Sam Allardyce’s team have only kept one clean sheet in eight games since his arrival in December and that was against League One outfit Bolton in the FA Cup.
As a result, it is claimed he has taken Christopher Samba on trial and is in the process of signing Sunderland left-back Patrick van Aanholt.
According to Times journalist George Culkin, Palace made an enquiry about bringing in Mbemba on loan and that re-ignited the Townsend deal.
Mbemba is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations with DR Congo, but the 22-year-old has only featured on eight occasions this season.
Townsend moved to Selhurst Park from Newcastle in the summer for a fee of £13million, but the former Tottenham man has struggled for form.
Sky Sports claim that Newcastle, who are vying to win promotion, are hopeful of bringing him in on loan this month before potentially signing him up permanently in the summer.
The Magpies are also interested in Swansea winger Mo Barrow who has fallen down the pecking order at the Welsh club.
Football Insider verdict:
Who would have thought that Andros Townsend would have been at the centre of one of the winter’s biggest transfer stories – especially as the club involved is the one he left six months ago. It didn’t look very likely but with the news that the two clubs are in discussions about a swap, it’s suddenly back on again. Newcastle want Townsend badly and Crystal Palace want Mbemba – the question is, how highly does Allardyce rate the Newcastle defender? If he rates him highly enough, that his presence will give Palace a chance of staying in the Premier League, then the deal will get done. Benitez and Newcastle fans must be hoping that the Palace manager can see past some poor performances. Mbemba’s DR Congo have just been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations so he will be on his way back home soon. Where to, though?
In other Newcastle transfer news, Alan Shearer has slammed this senior figure for cheating the fans.