Transfer latest: Newcastle hunt another breakthrough, with Townsend and Gomis in their sights
Newcastle are pushing for a third transfer breakthrough.
The Magpies are in talks over a deal for Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend.
Newcastle are also interested in West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino, who would cost upwards of £20million.
The relegation-threatened Tynesiders are in desperate need of another striker, with the injured Papiss Cisse sidelined for up to two months.
And Swansea City’s Bafetimbi Gomis has re-emerged as a potential target.
The 30-year-old is available for £7million in this month’s transfer window, and could be a fall-back option for Newcastle, who climbed out of the Premier League’s relegation zone thanks to Saturday’s 2-1 win over West Ham.
England winger Townsend – who fell out of favour at Tottenham in late October – is understood to be open to a move to St James’s Park and would cost around £12million.
Newcastle signed Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet from Swansea and Bordeaux last week, and the former made an immediate impact on his debut, helping set up both goals against West Ham.
After the match, head coach Steve McClaren refused to talk about the Tynesiders’ efforts in the transfer market.
“I just got my head down and concentrated on the three games,” said McClaren.
Buoyed by both their midweek fightback in the 3-3 draw against Manchester United and the arrival of two newcomers, Newcastle started with an intensity and belief which has eluded them for much of the campaign to date, and were soon rewarded.
Ayoze Perez had already seen visiting keeper Adrian claim his early side-footed effort when he fired the Magpies into a sixth-minute lead, curling the ball sweetly beyond the keeper after Georginio Wijnaldum had laid the ball off from Shelvey’s pass.
It was 2-0 with just 15 minutes played, as Shelvey speared a long pass into the run of full-back Daryl Janmaat, who collected it without breaking stride before sliding a cross to Wijnaldum, who steered the ball into the roof of the net.
Newcastle simply had too much pace, power and movement for the hapless Hammers, but they rallied in the second half.
Wijnaldum might have made it 3-0 within three minutes of the restart when he scuffed his shot wide after linking with Moussa Sissoko and Aleksandar Mitrovic, but the game was blown wide-open within seconds when defender Chancel Mbemba left his back-pass to keeper Rob Elliot woefully short and half-time substitute Nikica Jelavic rounded the keeper to halve the deficit.
The visitors were revitalised by their lifeline and took the game to their hosts for much of the second half, although Mitrovic forced two saves from Adrian and Shelvey a third as McClaren’s men hit them repeatedly on the break, but Elliot had to produce an 89th-minute save to deny Kouyate an equaliser in a rousing finish.
Newcastle – who take on Watford at Vicarage Road this Saturday – are now two points clear of third-bottom Swansea. “In terms of the importance of the points, this was the biggest game of the season,” said McClaren.
“That’s what we said before the game. We’ve put ourselves into this position, but this three points has put us back into the pack.
“We’ve taken that chance, and next week we’ve got another opportunity to improve things again.
“Let’s see if we can kick on now. If we don’t, it’s purely down to us.”
Newcastle: Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett (Saivet 57), Colback, Shelvey, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Perez (Gouffran 80), Mitrovic (Lascelles 90). Subs not used: Aarons, Darlow, Riviere, Toney. Booked: Elliot. Goals: Perez 6, Wijnaldum 15
West Ham: Adrian, Tomkins (Jenkinson 75), Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Obiang (Jelavic 46), Antonio (Moses 70), Valencia, Payet. Subs not used: Randolph, Reid, Song, Cullen. Goal: Jelavic 49.
Att: 50,031. Ref: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).