News in the Express that Newcastle are resisting the attempts of former manager Alan Pardew and others to sign Andros Townsend for the release amount in his contract.
The Tyneside club are even ready to offer Andros a new deal to stay at the club.
The release clause in his contract is said to be £8M or £13M – and the Express is quoting it as £10.5M, so take your pick – look like the Express took the average of the two previous estimates.
Andros played great for Newcastle this year after joining from Tottenham at a fee that was said to be £12M, especially after Rafa Benitez came in and the winger has settled in well at Newcastle and the fans just love him.
Rafa Benitez and Andros Townsend
The report is that Andros is getting £55K/week and Newcastle are willing to raise that to £75K/week.
If that’s true then Newcastle must be (very) well off financially and also confident of bouncing straight back to the Premier League next May.
Of course if we retain Andros he will be a real handful for defenses in the Championship and England manager Roy Hodgson has already said playing for Newcastle will not harm his chances of playing for England next season.
One of the best managers in the world – Rafa Benitez – has committed to staying at Newcastle in England’s second tier so we expect a number of our top players to also stay on Tyneside and help us get straight back up there.
Newcastle are also cutting their wage bill by releasing players like Gabby Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux and Steven Taylor with Fabricio Coloccini almost certain to also be leaving the club this summer.
Rafa Benitez also has a big say on what wages are paid to Newcastle’s players, so they are at least consistent based on the value of the player to the club.
West Ham and Southampton are also said to be interested in the 24 year-old England international, but Newcastle feel they can get the winger to stay at Newcastle, now that Rafa has committed to staying at the club.
One of the crucial agreements Rafa got from the club is that he did not have to sell any players, with Newcastle finances in good shape and the club can survive one year down below.
Now the club (Lee Charnley) have to work with Rafa to ensure the players stay on board if Rafa wants them to stay, and if a player has deserved a pay raise based on his performances, then fine – give it to him – as long as Newcastle can afford it.
But we cannot stretch that too far and if player becomes adamant he wants to leave – like Gini Wijnaldum or Moussa Sissoko may do – then we have to sell them – but only at a top price.
And Rafa has been promised that money to bring in new players.
So it would help everybody concerned if the decision to stay or go is made on our top players early in the summer – if at all possible.