Liverpool will not be joining the race to sign Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend, despite reports linking the England international with a move to Anfield.
Townsend, who joined the Magpies in a £12 million deal in January, has a £10.5 million release clause in his contract which could now be activated following Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship.
However, the Liverpool Echo understand that Townsend is not on Jurgen Klopp’s list of potential summer transfer targets.
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As well as Liverpool, Manchester City have also been linked with a move for the pacy 24-year-old.
It’s currently unclear, though, whether Pep Guardiola will give the green light for City to make a formal move for the Englishman.
With Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne already at the Etihad Stadium, Townsend would be unlikely to secure a place in Guardiola’s first choice line-up if a move to Manchester materialised.
Klopp wants Sadio Mane
Back to Liverpool and Klopp is instead expected to make a move for Southampton’s Sadio Mane.
The Senegal international reportedly caught Klopp’s eye while he was still playing at Red Bull Salzburg - between 2012-2014 - and the Liverpool boss remains a big fan of the 24-year-old winger who scored 15 goals in 43 appearances for the Saints this season.
However, in order to sign Mane, Liverpool may need to fend off competition from both Manchester United and Tottenham.
Mane arguably has a little more to his all-round game than Townsend, although the latter possesses plenty of pace, can beat players in one-on-one duels, is a capable set-piece taker and is blessed with a pretty handy left foot.
Townsend could yet stay at Newcastle
Having tied down their hugely experienced manager Rafael Benitez, Newcastle will be hoping that Townsend also decides to commit himself to getting the Magpies promoted back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
After news broke that Benitez had signed a three-year deal with Newcastle, Townsend admitted he was delighted with the Spaniard’s decision.
“It was fantastic news,” Townsend was quoted as saying by the Shields Gazette. “Obviously, it’s no secret how well the manager did towards the end of last season, how well he got us playing and also how he got me playing well as well and getting me back to the form I’ve shown.
“I’m delighted he’s signed on for the next three years.”
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