Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United's Transfer Dealings Set to Go Right Down to the Wire; Boss Confident Club Will Do Business before the Transfer Window Is Closed

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United's Transfer Dealings Set to Go Right Down to the Wire; Boss Confident Club Will Do Business before the Transfer Window Is Closed

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

RAFA Benitez admits Newcastle United's transfer pursuit could go down to the very final hours of the window after stressing it is "very easy" to see where the Magpies are looking to strengthen.

The Spaniard also admitted he "likes" former Newcastle winger Andros Townsend, who the Magpies are understood to be keen on bringing back to St James' Park from Crystal Palace this month.

Townsend joined Palace for PS13million over the summer and the Eagles would prefer to recoup that sum and sell the 25-year-old back to Newcastle immediately, while the Magpies are pushing for a loan with a view to buy in the summer.

Turn to Page 78 FROM BACK PAGE Negotiations are still on-going but the deal has hit an impasse.

Swansea City winger Modou Barrow and Everton midfielder James McCarthy are two other potential options for Benitez to bring in - with work continuing behind the scenes to ensure Newcastle bring at least one player through the door before the deadline.

"We don't talk about names," Benitez replied with a smile when asked if Townsend was someone he was pursuing "The reality is it is very easy to see what we are looking for and what is available in the market.

"We are trying to do what we need to do to balance the team.

"We are so close that it is just to do a couple of things which will improve a good squad because the team is doing well, the players are working so hard and doing so well.

"At the same time you can say: 'Maybe we don't need anyone...' "Yes, we need something because you have injuries and you have problems.

"It's important you have the balance which will allow you to approach any game until the end of the season without this risk.

"Still I have confidence that it's so obvious, we will do something."

Earlier, during his press conference ahead of Newcastle's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium, Benitez admitted his admiration for a player he twice asked to remain on Tyneside last summer.

"You know I like Andros but as the moment no news, we are happy with the squad," Benitez said. "We have to try to find something which brings more balance. …

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