Newcastle hope to tie up their £12million swoop for Tottenham winger Andros Townsend within the next 24 hours as summer signing Florian Thauvin prepares to head for the exit door.
The 24-year-old England international midfielder is due to undergo a medical on Tyneside on Wednesday a day after the Magpies and Spurs finally reached an agreement on a fee to bring an end to his White Hart Lane misery within touching distance.
Townsend tweeted a photograph of the view from his windscreen as he left his current club’s training ground for the final time on Tuesday afternoon, adding the message, “Emotional. £16 years” having earlier posted, “Been an absolute pleasure playing with the u21 boys the last 3 or 4 months!”.
Personal terms are still to be finalised, but no hitches are anticipated with the player ready to begin a new phase of his career.
Townsend told Sky Sports News: “As soon as I knew of Newcastle’s interest, they were the only club I wanted to join.
“Two of the best positions you can play in football are centre-forward and left-wing at NUFC. I’ve got the chance – I could never turn that down.
“I can’t wait to play my first game at St James’ Park. I’m excited!”
Townsend’s excitement is understandable as he has not played a senior game for Spurs since the 2-1 Europa League defeat at Anderlecht on October 22 after a run-in with Mauricio Pochettino’s fitness coach Nathan Gardiner.
A successful conclusion to the deal would take Newcastle’s spending this month to around £29million following the earlier captures of Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet, and their investment since head coach Steve McClaren was appointed last summer to £81million.
That could be boosted further during the remaining days of the transfer window with a proven striker still on McClaren’s wish-list and the club’s pursuit of West Brom’s Saido Berahino ongoing, if without any great encouragement so far that a breakthrough is close.
Newcastle have also been linked with a series of potential alternative targets, including Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis and Chelsea’s Loic Remy, although time is running out fast.
Meanwhile, Townsend’s impending arrival is likely to trigger £12million Florian Thauvin’s return on loan for the rest of the season to Marseille.
The Frenchman, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday, has made only 16 appearances – including just five starts – for the club and has struggled to force his way into McClaren’s plans.
It is understood the two clubs agreed in principle to a loan move some time ago, but that it was dependent on Newcastle landing a replacement.
Should McClaren get the frontman he craves, he could have few complaints about the hand he has been dealt with which to fight off relegation with owner Mike Ashley having sanctioned unprecedented investment in the playing staff.