There are now five clubs reported to be interested in Andros Townsend.

Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham had previously been linked and now there are claims in the North West media that both Liverpool and Manchester City are considering a move for the Newcastle winger.

Whilst transfer stories are produced day in day out, it would be a major surprise if at least one or two clubs don’t come in for Andros Townsend.

After being put in the background for so long at White Hart Lane, Townsend showed spectacular form and (four) goals for Newcastle in the final months of the season, even more noteworthy with having not had a full 90 minutes of Premier League football in over two years at Spurs.

The transfer spending in the Premier League is set to hit record levels with over £600m in the pockets of the 20 clubs each season via the new TV deal, but the same finite number of decent players to spend it on.

Whilst Andros Townsend has said all the right things about staying, unlike certain other players, it is only once a firm offer is made that you will really find out whether anybody will turn it down.

Having a contract buyout clause means that even if Rafa wanted to keep Townsend he would be powerless if the player decided to leave. The buyout amount has been reported as anything between £8m and £12m and the latest reports claim £10.5m – with the way the spending/bidding is set to go this summer, any of those figures are probably going to look a bargain compared to what we are going to see elsewhere.

Two weeks ago it was reported that Newcastle had offered Andros Townsend a pay rise if he agreed to have the buyout clause taken out but no update on that since.

Maybe the biggest worry is that Newcastle are probably at the end of the food chain on this one and any move for the winger could be triggered by other players moving, or not.

For example, Manchester City are said to be considering Townsend if they can’t get their first preferences, with an added benefit for them being that the Newcastle player would increase their quota of homegrown players. However, another aspect of other deals then impacting on Newcastle, is summed up by Southampton potentially going for Townsend if they lose Sadio Mane for megabucks.

Andros Townsend looks far and away Newcastle’s most creative player and would surely be devastating in the Championship. In our recent poll of thousands of Newcastle fans, we asked which 10 players they would most like to keep, Andros Townsend clear at the top with 99% support.

I would be pretty confident that he wouldn’t desert to the likes of Crystal Palace but you would have to worry if a decent ambitious Premier League club came in for him and guaranteed first team football, which would at least appear to rule Manchester City out.