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.

In fact, Sam Allardyce on Friday morning (see below) confirmed that no (permanent) offer had been received from Newcastle and that he hadn’t agreed to any loan offer because other clubs had turned Palace down when approached to loan out players.

That appeared to be that, stalemate in this transfer window.

The only glimmer of hope was that Allardyce added  ‘so we have said no to those (loan offers) at the moment’.

He didn’t elaborate on what would change from that ‘moment’ but now on Friday night, there could be help from a surprise source.

George Caulkin who reports on Newcastle for The Times, has revealed that Crystal Palace have approached Newcastle to see whether they would be prepared to loan out Chancel Mbemba for the rest of the season.

At the same time, Caulkin says that Newcastle have 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.

Townsend was subbed in all four of Sam Allardyce’s first four Premier League matches and then dropped last weekend and coming on as an 88th minute sub after Everton scored a late winner.

Allardyce 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.

Both he and Jamaal Lascelles had nightmares when Wolves won 2-0 at St James Park in September but it was Mbemba who drew the short straw and was dropped, opening the way to Ciaran Clark who has been outstanding.

Since then Chancel Mbemba has played only twice: the 6-0 League Cup stroll against Preston in the League Cup and the 1-0 defeat at home to Blackburn when Rafa Benitez made wholesale changes before the quarter-final at Hull.

Mbemba is currently third choice but Rafa has Grant Hanley as back-up, plus the versatile Jesus Gamez is now fit again, plus Paul Dummett has played his best games at centre-back for Newcastle.

Could a swap deal tick all the boxes for both parties?

Sam Allardyce this (Friday) morning:

“We have had nothing (transfer bids) to do with Andros Townsend.

“Nobody has bid for anybody at the club at the moment.

“A few clubs have asked about loans, but as we can’t get a loan, I don’t see why we should loan anyone at this stage.

“So we have said no to those at the moment.”