Newcastle close in on two BIG deals - and draw up back-up plan

Andros Townsend
Andros Townsend

Newcastle United are hopeful of a breakthrough in their bid to land Andros Townsend – and the club is still looking to sign Saido Berahino.

Berahino and Townsend remain at the top of its transfer hitlist.

It would take a bid in excess of £20million to persuade West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace to sanction an exit for Berahino.

But, contrary to reports, a fee is yet to be agreed with Tottenham Hotspur for winger Townsend, who is keen on a move to St James’s Park.

The club also needs to sign a striker in this month’s transfer window.

Head coach Steve McClaren desperately needs another goalscorer to relieve the pressure on misfiring Aleksandar Mitrovic.

And Bafetimbi Gomis and Loic Remy are still on the relegation-threatened club’s radar, though the former could price himself out of a move to Tyneside.

West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur are sticking to their valuations of striker Berahino and 24-year-old Townsend respectively.

It would take a bid in excess of £20million to persuade West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace to sanction an exit for Berahino, while Tottenham’s equally-uncompromising supremo Daniel Levy wants £14million for outcast Townsend.

United, 18th in the Premier League and two points adrift of safety, have already signed midfield pair Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet.

And owner Mike Ashley has sanctioned a further spend in this month’s transfer window.

It is now up to managing director Lee Charnley to do the deals.

However, January is a notoriously difficult month in which to do business, and with so much at stake ahead of next season’s new multi-billion pound Premier League TV deal, it is effectively a sellers’ market.

Newcastle are still hopeful deals can be done for Berahino and Townsend.

But the club, which has historically not been an active buyer on the final day of transfer windows, knows it can’t afford to be disappointed at the 11th hour.

Swansea City striker Gomis, a previous target for United, is a fall-back option as he is available for £7million.

However, Gomis’ wage demands could be an issue if the club decides to move for him.

A loan move for ex-United forward Loic Remy is also a possibility despite Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink’s assertion earlier this month that the France international won’t be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge in this window.

Hiddink said: “He will stay until the end of the season.”

Chelsea, however, must reportedly move out a player if they are to sign Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato.

For his part, Remy needs to be playing week in, week out ahead of Euro 2016, which is being staged in France.

And the 29-year-old is understood to be keen on a loan move.

The worry on Tyneside is that Chelsea will not make a firm decision on Remy until the last day of the transfer window, and Newcastle do not want to leave their business that late.

Berahino, 22, remains the club’s No 1 striking target.