Andros Townsend’s future remains in balance as clubs circle

Rafa Benitez and Andros Townsend
Rafa Benitez and Andros Townsend
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Andros Townsend is ready to return to Newcastle United – but his future remains in the balance.

The winger has a release clause in the contract he signed in January after a £12million move from Tottenham Hotspur.

And the relegated club fear they will lose the England international, who is set to report back to the club at the end of the week for the start of pre-season training.

Townsend hit form in the latter part of last season and narrowly failed to make Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.

A clutch of clubs, including Crystal Palace, are ready to offer Townsend a Premier League lifeline.

The 24-year-old is available for £10.5million due to the clause in his deal, though he has not given any public indication he is looking to leave Newcastle.

Speaking in late May, Townsend lauded manager Rafa Benitez after he decided to stay and lead the club in the Championship.

“Obviously, it’s no secret how well the manager did towards the end of last season, how well he got us playing and also how he got me playing well as well and getting me back to the form I’ve shown,” said Townsend.

“I’m delighted he’s signed on for the next three years.”

However, United acknowledge that there is a strong chance he will opt to quit and stay in the top flight.

The weekend saw Newcastle linked with Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie.

Ritchie, 26, has experience of the Championship and has been touted as a £10million replacement for Townsend should he leave for a Premier League club this summer.