Newcastle United’s ongoing interest in bringing former winger Andros Townsend back to St James’ Park from Crystal Palace could be set to intensify with the news that the south London club are considering an offer for the former England international from Rafa Benitez’s side.
According to the Chronicle Live, Townsend, who joined the Eagles from Newcastle just two summers ago, is subject to increased interest from his former club this close season, and it is believed that Palace are considering the sale to generate more funds to put towards their own business this summer.
It is said that Roy Hodgson’s side initially turned down Newcastle’s advances over the move and quoted the Magpies £20m for any such deal to take place. The south London side’s stance is said to have softened, however, and they may indeed be open to the sale now.
Hodgson apparently has an eye on West Ham forward Michail Antonio as a potential like-for-like replacement for Townsend, as both have typically been converted from wingers into central forwards in recent times.
Antonio would offer greater energy and power alongside Palace’s star player Wilfried Zaha in attack, but the West Ham man has also attracted interest from Leicester City.
Townsend was a popular figure under Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park prior to Newcastle’s relegation and the winger’s subsequent switch from Tyneside to London in 2016, and it is said that the player and manager remain on good terms.
The 26-year-old initially joined Newcastle from Tottenham for £12m in January the same year and went on to hit four goals in 13 matches during his short-lived six-month spell at the club before swiftly returning to London following the relegation of Benitez’s side to the Championship.
It is said that Benitez attempted to convince Townsend to stay on at the club as part of Newcastle’s battle to win immediate promotion back to the top flight, which would later prove successful, but Palace came in that summer with a £13m bid which triggered the winger’s relegation clause in his contract with the Magpies.
An attempt was even made by Benitez to bring Townsend back to the club on loan in January, but this proved unfeasible due to Palace’s lofty demands.
Benitez now seems certain to reignite his efforts to make the reunion happen this summer, with Kenedy’s loan spell at St James’ Park having now ended and the Brazilian winger set to return to Chelsea amid uncertainty over whether the move will be made permanent.