Middlesbrough have been rebuffed in their move to hijack Newcastle United's deadline day deal for winger Andros Townsend.
Aitor Karanka's men were understood to be interested in adding the England international to their ranks, having missed out on the likes of Jese and Robert Snodrgrass in recent days.
But according to reports their move was knocked back by Crystal Palace, who were not keen to sell or loan a player to their relegation rivals.
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That leaves the pathway open for Rafa Benitez's promotion-chasing Magpies, who are edging closer to a deal for Townsend, who is said to be rated at £12million.
The winger has struggled to make an impact since leaving St James' Park in the summer, but would be welcomed back with open arms at United, with Benitez a huge fan of the 25-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur man.
Were a deal completed for Townsend before this evening's 11pm deadline he would be unable to play in tomorrow's Championship clash with Queens Park Rangers, one of his former clubs.
Players had to be signed an registered before Noon today in order to be eligible.
Instead a weekend debut against Derby County, managed by Steve McClaren,Newc is more likely for Townsend, should the deal, which Benitez is confident will be completed, go through.