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Newcastle opens transfer discussions with Andros Townsend's agent

This is a rarity when it comes to transfer rumors: a carefully written and sourced report with few weasel words and a plausible scenario.

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We all know Andros Townsend is very likely to depart the club this January. You don't take an England international and let him play with the club's U21s unless you're pretty sure that he no longer has a future with your organization. Ever since The Incident with the Trainer™ a couple of months ago, it's been less a matter of if Andros will leave, it's to which club he'll depart for.

That club looks like it might be Newcastle. According to the Chronicle Live, Toon have opened up negotiations with Andros' agent ahead of what could be a £12m bid for the winger.

...It has emerged that the winger is eager to make the move to St James’ Park during the January window.

The Chronicle understands that Newcastle have held discussions in the past couple of days over a potential £12million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur.

The 24-year-old England international has made it clear to his agent he wants to make the switch to Tyneside.

Toon head coach Steve McClaren is a fan of the London-born winger as he looks to bring in more proven Premier League talent.

In an age where transfer rumors and their language range from the improbable to the ridiculous, this kind of reporting is actually a breath of fresh air. There are precious few weasel words here – it's not "It's thought that Andros would prefer..." or "Reports suggest that Newcastle..." This is clear and relatively unambiguous, if unsourced and unconfirmed: "Andros has made it clear to his agent." "Steve McClaren is a fan of the London-born winger." That doesn't mean that it's true, only that it's refreshingly free of the linguistic nonsense that we're used to when we're talking about transfer rumor articles.

Andros at Toon would seem to be a bit of a weird fit. At first blush you'd think Andros would be behind Georgino Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko in the pecking order, though there's a chance he could push them for a starting place. Newcastle have also just purchased Jonjo Shelvey from Swansea, so it could be that Shelvey starts in the pivot alongside Chieck Tiote with an attacking band of Wijnaldum, Cissoko, and Townsend ahead of them. Newcastle are certainly trying to buy players to put some space between themselves and the relegation zone, so maybe the immediate tactics don't matter: Andros could slot in on either flank and be effective for Steve McClaren. And apparently, he'd rather go there and maybe fight for his place than go to West Brom and play for Jeremy Peace.

£12m would be pretty fantastic for an unwanted player like Andros, but this is still very preliminary: there haven't been any reports of actual bids, and Tottenham will be trying to get as much money as they possibly can for Andros. Still, even if it doesn't actually happen, this is one of the most believable rumors about Andros being sold that we've seen yet, and it's worth tracking.