Everton transfer news: Andros Townsend set to join on free transfer

Everton close in on free transfer for Andros Townsend, who left Crystal Palace upon the expiry of his deal in June and could reunite with Rafa Benitez after their time at Newcastle in 2016; Toffees also keen on two more wingers - Bayer Leverkusen's Demarai Gray and Burnley's Dwight McNeil

Andros Townsend

Everton are closing in on the signing of former Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend on a free transfer.

The 30-year-old has been without a team since his deal at Selhurst Park expired in late June.

Everton are also interested in two more wingers - Bayer Leverkusen's Demarai Gray and Burnley's Dwight McNeil.

A deal for Gray is not close yet, while any move for England Under-21 international McNeil would likely require Everton to pay a significant fee.

Townsend and new Everton boss Rafa Benitez worked together at Newcastle between March and June 2016 but could not avoid the Magpies' relegation to the Championship.

In June, Townsend told Sky Sports News Everton were making the right move by securing Benitez as their new boss.

"I played under Rafa at Newcastle, so I know how good of a manager he is," he said.

Also See:

"He's good on the training pitch. He is always trying to work hard and he's a good man as well. Good man-manager.

Demarai Gray  joined Bayer Leverkusen in January after struggling to make an impact at Leicester City.
Image: Former Leicester winger Demarai Gray joined Bayer Leverkusen in January

"So, taking out the rivalry, taking out the Liverpool-Everton. For on-pitch reasons, I think it's a really good appointment."

The winger spent the second half of the 2015/16 season at St James' Park and scored four goals in 13 appearances before Palace triggered his £13m release clause in July.

He has spent the past five years in south London, scoring 16 goals in 185 appearances.

Prior to that, Townsend came through the youth ranks at Tottenham and went on various loans before joining the first team between 2013 and 2016.

New series: Football's Cult Heroes

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Football's Cult Heroes is a new podcast series exploring the stories of players that carried their clubs on their backs - on and off the pitch. Follow on Spotify

Football's Cult Heroes is a brand new podcast series exploring the stories of the players that carried their clubs on their backs - on and off the pitch.

Told by the players, fans and journalists that were there - we delve into why these players created such a strong bond with their fans and how they are still remembered years on.

Coming up first on Wednesday is Robbie Fowler - The boy from Toxteth who became 'God', featuring interviews with Jason McAteer, John Barnes, Emile Heskey and more.

Follow on Spotify so you can listen to the weekly episodes as soon as they drop.

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back for the 2021/22 season. Create a team for free, and you could win £50,000.

Around Sky