There have been renewed claims of Newcastle interest in signing Andros Townsend, since last season ended.
Then on Sunday morning there were newspaper claims (see below) of Newcastle being in talks with Crystal Palace.
This report claimed that Palace were asking for a more realistic (in today’s market!) £18m for the winger, rather than the £30m price tag that had been previously circulating.
Now, Sky Sports have confirmed that there has indeed been a Newcastle United approach for the winger.
Sky Sports presenter (and Newcastle fan) Pete Graves states that he ‘Can confirm that Newcastle United have made initial enquiries to Crystal Palace over the signing of Andros Townsend.’
The winger had the most productive spell of his career when at Newcastle, despite playing in a team at the bottom, Townsend managed four goals and two assists despite only 12 PL starts back in 2015/16.
That spell included helping NUFC to a final six game undefeated run under Rafa Benitez at the end of that season, Newcastle getting three wins and three draws, including a 5-1 demolition of Spurs, as well as a draw away at Liverpool after being two goals down, plus a draw at home against Man City after falling a goal behind.
Pete Graves says Rafa is still a ‘big admirer’ and Andros Townsend ‘enjoyed his time’ at Newcastle – but still ‘some way to go’ on a transfer being agreed.
“Can confirm that Newcastle United have made initial enquiries to Crystal Palace over the signing of Andros Townsend.
“The player was a huge success during his time on Tyneside.
“Rafa remains a big admirer.
“Andros enjoyed his time in B&W… but some way to go.”
Keith Downie who covers NUFC for Sky Sports:
“We’re told Newcastle want to bring Andros Townsend back to the club.
“Initial talks have taken place with Crystal Palace – but as yet no bid.”
The Mag – Earlier today (Sunday 1 July 2018):
Sunday morning brings reports that Newcastle United are (allegedly) in talks with Crystal Palace to buy back Andros Townsend.
Thursday brought surprise news, from a media source that is usually very good (see below), that Newcastle were talking to two Championship clubs about the possible sale of Matt Ritchie.
That report from The Telegraph’s John Percy said that Newcastle were believed to be willing to trade if either Middlesbrough or Stoke would pay £15m.
Today’s story sees claims that Andros Townsend could be available for around £18m, more realistic than the £30m figures previously rumoured.
This follow up transfer tale is from The Sun (don’t shoot this messenger…), so not exactly the best media when it comes to their strikerate success on NUFC transfers,
However, I remember when there was previous talk of Andros Townsend coming back to St James Park, fans were fancying the idea of him on one side and Ritchie on the other.
So if there is any substance to these in and out transfer claims, I think Newcastle supporters would be asking why can’t we have both?
With so far no apparent attempt to sign Kenedy, Newcastle need a new winger/wide man anyway, as neither Atsu or Murphy can be seen as first eleven regulars at this moment in time.
So selling Ritchie to fund Andros Townsend would be more of a one step forward and most of one backwards.
Comparing the two, I think Townsend is a more attacking winger who can create something out of nothing, a little like Kenedy, whereas Ritchie is more of your dependable hard working winger/wide man who doesn’t really have the pace/trickery to unlock defences on a regular basis.
What we do know is that Ritchie is one of Newcastle’s better players, so always risky to trade in any of them.
Hopefully we well see (incoming) transfer business pick up after Ki Sung-Yueng’s arrival on Friday.
The Mag – 28 June 2018:
It might take some believing for many Newcastle United fans but the club have been in talks with two clubs to sell Matt Ritchie.
If this was from usual ‘sources’ then it would be easy to dismiss but the story comes from John Percy at The Telegraph and he has a very good record with his information on both transfer and other stories, including past ones regarding Newcastle United.
He states as fact that Newcastle have held talks with both Stoke and Middlesbrough regarding the sale of Matt Ritchie.
Percy states that Newcastle are considering letting the winger go if one of them is willing to pay £15m.
It would be a shock departure for NUFC fans and the presumption would surely be that a sale would only happen IF Rafa Benitez was happy for it to take place and IF he believed he would get that cash and be able to use it towards his own targets.
John Percy says Bournemouth are also interested in taking Matt Ritchie back and indeed a story in recent days claimed a possible swap deal could be on for Cherries striker Josh King.
Championship clubs are flexing their financial muscles these days and last summer Wolves paid £16m for a player, whilst Middlesbrough shelled out £15m on striker Britt Assombalonga.
Matt Ritchie turns 29 in September so bean counters would maybe see £15m as a good price to sell at but as always, it depends on what then happens to the money at Newcastle United.
Easy to see why Championship clubs would fancy taking him, as when Bournemouth got promotion in 2014/15 the winger got 15 goals and 17 assists, whilst with Newcastle it was 12 goals and 7 assists in 2016/17.
Stoke and Middlesbrough have, unlike Newcastle, already been spending relatively significant money and this coming season the two clubs will receive significant parachute payments – Stoke will bank over £41m and Boro just over £34m.
It is worth pointing out that whilst Ritchie is popular with Newcastle fans, in the top tier with Bournemouth his figures dropped to 4 goals and 6 assists and then 3 goals and 5 assists for Newcastle in the Premier League last season.