Having just taken three points from Spurs in the Premier League, Steve McClaren isn’t due back at White Hart Lane with Newcastle for a while.
However, the Magpies man could well return to north London far sooner as he looks to save Andros Townsend from the Lilywhites reserves in January.
The England winger hasn’t started a single top-flight game for Mauricio Pochettino this term and recently fell foul of the Argentine tactician following a spat with the club’s fitness coach.
Those two factors have seemingly declared it open season on Townsend in the gossip pages this morning, with the Geordie strugglers, Southampton and West Brom all linked with a move for the forgotten winger.
With Newcastle leaping up to 15th place with their victory over Spurs last time out, their relegation price has eased to 21/10, but that hasn’t halted the club’s need to strengthen during the winter transfer window.
There’s a space open to start regularly on the left wing for McClaren and, having spent so much of this season in the doldrums, is likely to appeal to Townsend regardless of Newcastle’s league position.
The Saints, who are perhaps performing below expectations in 12th, could see January as a chance to revitalise their squad with a couple of additions and have held an interest in Townsend before.
Spurs rejected a £10m Southampton bid for the Englishman in the summer of 2014, but would surely snap Ronald Koeman’s hand off should he offer anything close to that again.
Tony Pulis has made a concerted effort to add pace in wide areas to the West Brom squad, having made James McClean, Callum McManaman and Serge Gnabry three of his early signings at the Hawthorns.
The latter two have thus far failed to nail down a regular place in the side and so the former Stoke boss could turn to Townsend as another option near the whitewash.
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