With Newcastle not willing to make a (permanent) transfer bid for Andros Townsend and Crystal Palace insisting they weren’t interested in a loan arrangement, any deal for the winger looked near impossible.
Then on Friday night, George Caulkin, who covers Newcastle United for The Times, broke the story that Palace’s search for new defenders had led them to St James Park, with an approach having been made to Newcastle to take Chancel Mbemba on loan for the rest of the season.
At the same time, Caulkin said that Newcastle had renewed their efforts to try and get Andros Townsend on a loan deal.
The clear implication of course, that if a deal could be done, then both clubs could bring in a player to help them in the second half of the season, whilst losing one who is out of favour.
Monday afternoon has now seen George Caulkin give an update, stating:
“At this stage, it’s Townsend or nothing for Newcastle United this month and plenty of work to do there.”
A couple of weeks ago, Rafa Benitez first mentioned that amongst his transfer targets, there was one that he was especially interested and excited about.
With Newcastle clearly continuing to try and bring the winger back, it appears clear that Andros Townsend is who he was talking about.
Townsend was subbed in all four of Sam Allardyce’s first four Premier League matches and then dropped last weekend for the Everton home game, coming on as an 88th minute sub after the blues scored a late winner.
Making changes for the FA Cup at home to Manchester City on Saturday (watched by only 13,979!), Andros Townsend was forced to endure the full 90 minutes on the pitch in another poor performance as Palace were taken apart 3-0 by Man City.
Sam Allardyce is desperate to bring in new players after picking up just one point out of 15 and dropping into the relegation zone.
As for Mbemba, after being Newcastle’s best defender in the Premier League last season, he has been a bit unlucky to be frozen out this time and is now on his way back from the African Cup of Nations after Christian Atsu and Ghana eliminated DR Congo at the weekend.
With neither player looking set to be first choice at their respective clubs in the promotion race/relegation survival run-ins, a swap loan deal would appear to make sense for both players.
If Rafa Benitez was able to add Andros Townsend for the rest of the season, then I’m guessing most Newcastle fans would see that as a relatively successful transfer window, especially as it would be adding somebody to go straight into the first team.