Liverpool enter hotly-contested race for reformed Newcastle man

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Liverpool to win the 2016/17 Premier League

Andros Townsend’s late-season form for Newcastle wasn’t quite enough to land him a spot in England’s Euro 2016 squad, but it may help him escape a campaign in the Championship.

The winger did as much as any Magpie to try and stave off relegation at St James’ Park, scoring four goals and laying on two assists in his 13 Premier League games in the north east.

Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to ensure survival, but the Englishman could be back among the big boys quicker than expected should the latest transfer rumours about him prove true.

According to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool are considering adding the nine-time loanee to their squad during the offseason, making use of the £10.5m buy-out clause Townsend has in his Newcastle contract.

The Reds aren’t the only top-flight outfit weighing up a move for the shot-happy wide man, with Manchester City, Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham all noted by the Mirror as suitors for his signature.

With so many Premier League sides in the hunt, Newcastle face a mountainous task keeping hold of Townsend, despite forking out around £12m for the former Tottenham youth a mere six months ago.

It’s easy to see why Jurgen Klopp is considering prising him away though, with his bloated Liverpool squad containing few genuine wide options.

Jordon Ibe, himself the subject of transfer gossip, and recent Fenerbahce loanee Lazar Markovic are about the only wingers at the German’s disposal who offer genuine width, so the need for recruitment in that area is clear.

It could be argued that Townsend doesn’t quite fit the bill though, having developed a reputation as a cut-inside-and-shoot addict during his time at Spurs.

However, he registered more crosses than he did shots in the league after signing for Newcastle last season and experienced a surge in popularity as a result.

Many believed his omission by Roy Hodgson for France to be a mistake, and a continuation of his Geordie form at a big club like Liverpool will only enhance that theory should he make the switch.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.