Newcastle emerging as the dark horse in the race for Spurs star

The Steve McClaren revolution at Newcastle is finally off the ground after the new Magpies boss splashed almost £15m on PSV schemer Georginio Wijnaldum, but the former England manager is far from finished.

Along with persistent links with strikers Charlie Austin and Aleksandar Mitrovic, a new name has emerged in the Newcastle rumour mill.

The north east outfit are reportedly on the trail of shoot-on-sight Tottenham winger Andros Townsend. The Daily Star claims that McClaren has joined local rivals Sunderland and Aston Villa in pursuit of the England winger.

£10m is the fee offered by the paper as the St James’ Park club’s opening bid, although the Star expects Daniel Levy to push for closer to £15m for the once perma-loaned player.

The move for Townsend adds further credence to the theory that McClaren wants to revamp his new club’s attack.

The wide man was little more than a bit-part player for Mauricio Pochettino last season, coming in and out of the side regularly and never enjoying a spell of more than five consecutive starts for the Argentine.

Perhaps that is one explanation for his inconsistent performances. However, Spurs fans would likely point to his habit of cutting inside from the right flank and blazing shots high or wide as the root cause of his inability to secure a spot in the Lilywhites side.

Whether Newcastle want to stretch to another £15m signing so soon after Wijnaldum’s capture remains to be seen, but it’s certain that Spurs would see that as terrific business for their club.

It was just last summer that Southampton had a bid of £10m rejected by Spurs, so the indications are that a deeper dig into the pockets are required.

Ladbrokes make Aston Villa the favourites to be Townsend’s club after the close of the summer window at 11/10, where the 23-year-old would link back up with former manager Tim Sherwood.

Newcastle are rated at 10/1 in the market, behind the Black Cats at 3s and 6/1-shots Crystal Palace. The fact that Spurs don’t even appear on the list, meanwhile, is a telling sign of the player’s future.

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.