Andros Townsend says he could not turn down the opportunity to join Newcastle United ahead of his imminent move away from Tottenham Hotspur, suggesting Steve McClaren has offered him the chance to play up front.
According to BBC Sport, Newcastle have agreed a fee of £12m for the England international and is expected to complete his move to the north-east in the coming days. Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, Townsend, 24, confirmed the move was close, adding he could not turn their offer of first-team football having promised him roles as a striker and on the wing.
"As soon as I knew of Newcastle's interest they were the only club I wanted to join," Townsend said. "Two of the biggest positions you can play in football are centre forward or left winger. I've got the chance to play one of those – I could never turn that down."
Townsend earlier signalled his Tottenham exit was looming after saying goodbye to the club's Under-21 ranks ahead of his move to St James' Park. The wideman has not played for the Spurs first-team since October 2015 and has played in six consecutive games for the club's reserve ranks in recent months. The winger was in action for Ugo Ehiogu's side again on Monday 25 January in the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool and paid tribute to his young teammates after the match.
Townsend's exile from the first team started after an altercation with Spurs fitness coach Nathan Gardiner in November 2015 and has not been part of Mauricio Pochettino's plans since.
Newcastle have already signed Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet to boost their options in midfield as the club attempt to claw their way out of the relegation zone. Speaking at a press conference last week, Pochettino admitted the winger's lack of first-team football means his departure is inevitable.
"I think it's obvious, the situation of Andros," Pochettino told a press conference ahead of the league match with Crystal Palace. "It's always about rumours but it is true that it's obvious when some players are not too much involved in the games, the player always wants to play and try to find the solution."