There’s a report in French daily L’Equipe that Crystal Palace have triggered the release clause in Andros Townsend’s Newcastle contract and they have also reached an agreement with the player on wages.
If that’s true it will be a devastating blow to Rafa Benitez and Newcastle, who will be in the Championship next season and such an early departure of one of our best players would not be good.
In fact it would be terrible.
Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez
And especially to a smaller club like Palace – albeit they are in the Premier League this coming season and we aren’t.
The release clause looks about right and is quoted at £12.9M for the England international and that jibes with reports over the last day or two saying that Palace had not yet met the release clause amount in his contract.
Newcastle paid around £12M for Townsend from Tottenham in January.
L’Equipe have got things wrong before, but it’s interesting that Newcastle were linked with a possible replacement for Townsend over the weekend – Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie.
If Andros does leave Newcastle, it does not bode well for keeping Gini Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko or even Daryl Janmaat at the club and would be a severe blow to Rafa Benitez.
We would expect to hear something from Newcastle tomorrow if this news story does the rounds on the Internet and is widely reported.
But these are just some of the dangers when you take the drop to the second division – it’s difficult to keep your best players – and it’s difficult to bring in comparable players once they are gone.
Andros finished second in the voting in our poll for Player of the Season, behind only goalkeeper Rob Elliot and he scored 4 goals in 14 Premier league appearances for us this year.