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Andros Townsend heavily linked with January move to Sunderland

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Is the Andros Auction already over? There's a lot of smoke in the air that suggests Townsend could be heading north.

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By now it's clear that Andros Townsend no longer has a future at Tottenham Hotspur. Exiled to the fringes of the squad, Townsend hasn't been seen in a Spurs first-team lineup since he had a confrontation with fitness coach Nathan Gardiner in November.

Since then, Andros has been a fixture in Spurs' U21 sides to maintain fitness, but hasn't sniffed the first team match day 18, and is well down the midfield pecking order. He reportedly has been told that he can depart in January. It's less a matter of if, but to whom.

Townsend has been linked to pretty much every club that could possibly use a fast, young winger, but most strongly to Tyne-Wear rivals Newcastle and Sunderland. According to the Independent, Sam Allardyce may have won the battle to sign Andros when the transfer window opens in January. Big Sam has been coy about rumors, recently admitting that he has two new signings "nailed on" to come to the Stadium of Light. One of those very well could be Andros.

In a lot of ways, a move to Wearside would make sense for Andros. Big Sam has been tinkering with playing three at the back with midfield width provided by fullbacks Patrick Van Aanholt and DeAndre Yedlin, but Sunderland doesn't really have a wide midfielder who is direct and fast like Andros. With the Black Cats firmly in the relegation zone at the beginning of 2016, it's very likely that Allardyce will need to spend some money in January to try and claw his way to safety. The Independent states that Andros would likely early substantially more than the £40k he's earning now at Tottenham, and he'd be getting regular football. Tottenham gets a transfer fee, and an unhappy player off the books. It's win-win.

It's important to note right now that this is still in the realm of rumor. We don't know if this is actually a thing, if it's a permanent transfer or a loan, or how much the transfer fee might be. The move makes sense, and Andros is likely going somewhere, but we're not calling it a done deal until it gets announced by the club.