Written by Caspar de Wesselow
Reports which emerged early on Tuesday morning that Newcastle and England winger Andros Townsend is set to join Sporting Lisbon, are wide of the mark.
Portuguese Daily Record claimed earlier on Tuesday that Sporting were closing in on the signing of Townsend after activating the release clause in his contract.
Once this somewhat out of the blue rumour began to circulate the web, many on Twitter and Social Media alike, were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Some divulged into the logistics of Townsend’s movements claiming that as the England squad weren’t reconvening until Tuesday following Sunday’s friendly, it gave Townsend the time to hot-foot it over to Portugal. Images of Townsend supposedly boarding a plane to Lisbon and sitting in a Portuguese departure lounge started doing the rounds. Notable NUFC publications, ‘The Mag’ and ‘The Newcastle United blog’, ran with the story fearing that Newcastle’s man in-form was on his way out.
Fear not Toon fans.
Sources close to the player stated that the report is not true and that the player has not travelled to Portugal for talks. Andros’ father Troy Townsend took to Twitter and ultimately dispelled the rumour with his reply to a tweet directed at him from an Newcastle fan.
Townsend’s future has been the subject of speculation in the wake of Newcastle’s relegation from the Premier League with the 24-year-old impressing at St James’ Park since his arrival from Tottenham in the January transfer window. Reportedly, he has an 8-million release clause that can be activated in the event of relegation.
Consequently, several Premier League sides are monitoring Townsend’s situation at Newcastle, but the player is not expected to make any decision on his future until after Euro 2016 if he makes Roy Hodgson’s final 23-man squad.
Although it was a rumour making front-page news within Portugal, I can categorically state that Andros Townsend will not be on his way to Sporting Lisbon. Although this one may have been a false lead, it’s sure to be a nervous summer for Newcastle fans as they wait to discover whether they will be able to hold onto one of their prized possessions.
Newcastle fans, do you see Townsend being at the club come the start of the Championship season? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Mari