Crystal Palace sign Andros Townsend and Steve Mandanda as Dwight Gayle departs
Published 01/07/2016 | 15:17
Crystal Palace have signed both Andros Townsend and goalkeeper Steve Mandanda on the same day Dwight Gayle departed for Newcastle.
Townsend's £13million arrival from Newcastle - who have signed Gayle for £10million three years after he joined Palace for £6million - makes him the club's new record signing.
He will be joined at the club by France international Mandanda, 31, who leaves Marseille after nine years in which he won one Ligue 1 title and three French League Cups over the course of 443 appearances.
"It was an extremely difficult decision to leave Newcastle and it took me about a month or so, but when I decided that I wanted to go it was about finding the best opportunity for me at this stage of my career," Townsend, 24, told Palace's official website.
"It was a pretty easy decision to choose Crystal Palace because of the direction they're heading. They play a system that suits wingers and you only need to look at Wilfried Zaha, Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon to see how they've excelled and how influential they are for Palace. I want to be a part of that and help this club reach its potential."
Townsend's return to London comes little over six months after he joined Newcastle from Tottenham for the same fee. An impressive end to the season under Rafael Benitez earned him a call-up to England's initial squad for Euro 2016, before he was left out of the final cut.
Yohan Cabaye became Palace's previous record signing when he arrived for £10million last summer from Paris St Germain, and after Euro 2016 he will be joined at Selhurst Park by fellow France international Mandanda.
The 22-times capped goalkeeper has signed a three-year contract with Palace and will intensify the already strong competition for places between present first-choice Wayne Hennessey, Alex McCarthy and the long-serving Julian Speroni.
Speroni's future appeared uncertain while he was frequently left out of the team last season. He equalled John Jackson's club record of making 388 appearances in all competitions in their final league fixture, a 4-1 defeat at Southampton, before signing a one-year contract extension last month.
According to Pardew, however, Gayle also agreed a new contract before the end of last season, so there is little guarantee fans' favourite Speroni will remain at Selhurst Park.
The promising McCarthy arrived on a four-year contract last summer from QPR, though Pardew may be willing to allow him to leave on loan, as he was in January.
Discussing Mandanda's arrival, club chairman Steve Parish said: "I'm delighted that we have been able to bring Steve into the club. He brings a wealth of experience at both club and international level to us, and boasts a proven track record when it comes to winning trophies.
"I'm sure the Palace fans will enjoy watching him in action for us over the next few years."