Newcastle are said to be chasing the Crystal Palace winger, and their willingness to allow Matt Ritchie to go surely suggests that they are confident of wrapping up a deal sooner rather than later.
Newcastle are reportedly set to agree to sanction Ritchie’s move to Stoke City for £15 million (Northern Echo), and offloading the winger would surely not have crossed Rafael Benitez’s mind unless incoming additions were on their way.
Townsend appears to be Newcastle’s top target, with the Magpies close to agreeing a deal with Palace.
The Eagles had initially wanted £30 million for the England international, but Newcastle now feel that a bid of around £22 million would be enough to secure the deal.
Ritchie’s departure from Newcastle is unlikely to be unanimously popular, as the Scot has played an important role in recent times at St. James’ Park.
However, Townsend signing would be a step forward for the Newcastle, and the winger would be hoping to pick up where he left off on Tyneside, if he does return.