Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has told talkSPORT that the Magpies were right to pull out of a 'ridiculous' deal for Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend.
Newcastle beat Derby County 1-0 at St. James' Park this afternoon to return to the top of the Championship table, leading Brighton and Hove Albion by two points.
It was a much needed win for Newcastle, amid talk of unrest behind the scenes after a frustrating January transfer window, in which the club failed to make any new signings.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez celebrates with Andros Townsend
Newcastle did attempt to make additions, with Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend their top target before pulling out of a move for him on deadline day, as reported by Sky Sports.
Townsend, 25, joined Newcastle from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2016, but after hitting four goals and two assists in 13 games for the Magpies, he left upon relegation to join Palace.
Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend
His move back to London hasn't gone well so far though, as he's notched only one goal and two assists whilst struggling to nail down a first-team spot under both Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce.
A return to Newcastle was suggested last month, but the Magpies ended their pursuit over financial terms, given that they had to pay a loan fee and were then obliged to sign Townsend permanently if promoted back to the Premier League.
Now, former Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd has told talkSPORT that he felt the deal was 'ridiculous', and he would have also blocked the move, even though manager Rafael Benitez may be frustrated at not signing him.
“Nobody really knows what is going on between them,” said Shepherd. “Every manager wants another player, and Benitez wants another player like any manager. That Townsend deal though was ridiculous, it was one-ended and I wouldn’t have done it either. I don’t know for certain [what the details were], but I wouldn’t have done the deal from what I’ve heard.”
“There was no option to buy, they had to buy him. I would have backed Mike Ashley on that one and said, ‘no’. What Mr Ashley is doing is saving his money for the summer and waiting until then. That team should get up and, like any manager, Benitez is greedy - in a good way - for more money and more players,” he added.
Would you have pushed to sign Townsend in January?
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