Newcastle star man ready to make stunning U-turn after change of heart - report

By Alex Stevens

Andros Townsend is weighing up the shock possibility of staying at Newcastle in order to continue working with Rafael Benitez, according to a report.

Townsend only moved to Newcastle in January, but his contract included a clause that allows him to leave St James’ Park following the club’s relegation.

The Daily Telegraph claim Crystal Palace are in talks to sign Townsend and are prepared to meet the £10.5million buy-out fee in the winger’s contract.

But the Chronicle report that the 24-year-old is keen to remain at St James’ Park and is now weighing up the possibility of committing to playing in the Championship for one season.

However, it is said that Townsend is not entirely closing the door on potentially heading to a Premier League side this summer if his reported release clause is activated.

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Benitez’s decision to commit to Newcastle in the Championship is key to Townsend considering what would be an unexpected move given the interest of top-flight clubs who are able to offer him a pay rise.

West Ham and Southampton have also been credited with an interest in handing the 24-year-old an instant return to the Premier League.

Townsend is currently on holiday after last week being cut from the England squad that travelled to France for Euro 2016 on Monday.

Following early teething troubles in the north-east, Townsend emerged as a key figure in Newcastle’s survival bid under Benitez and his record of four goals in 13 Premier League games for the club was enough to earn him a place in England’s provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2016.

But manager Roy Hodgson decided against taking Townsend to France, despite an impressive substitutes’ appearance against Australia at the Stadium of Light.

In other Newcastle news, another one of the Magpies players has hinted he has decided to stay at St James’ Park this summer.